Many doctors in all avenues having been sounding the alarm about the effects of sedentary behavior on our health. But recently, a team of doctors have measured the impact through a recently published study.
What the Studies Say
Researchers followed nearly 9,000 adults and tracked the number of hours they spent each day sitting and watching television. Every hour of sitting increased their risk of developing an inflammatory disease by 12 percent.
Naturally, those that spent more than four hours a day sitting and watching TV were at greatest risk. Patients were followed, and at 12 years after the study, about 10 percent of the subjects had died. Of those that had passed away, 130 /909 people died of inflammatory diseases.
Why Being Sedentary Causes Inflammation?
Under normal conditions, inflammation is a natural response to a harmful event; the body releases chemicals that help the body recover. When people are sedentary for long periods of time, these chemicals hang around for too long and can cause disease.
Doctors don’t understand all the mechanisms for why sitting causes these chemicals to hang around, but they’re learning through research.
In one study conducted in the United Kingdom, subjects were asked to self-report how much time they spent sitting during the week. Researchers used the standard International Physical Activity Questionnaire to log how much sitting and physical activity each person did.
Researchers then measured blood values of inflammation markers like leptin, C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 (IL-6). In 500 individuals, sitting time was associated with higher levels of these biomarkers. Females had significantly more biomarkers present than men did. By hanging around in the blood stream too long, these biomarkers created a situation of low-grade inflammation, particularly in women.
How Biomarkers Affect Your Joints
There are many diseases that are characterized as inflammatory in nature, and many of these diseases affect the bones and joints.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a global epidemic. Doctors and researchers have shifted their thinking about the disease. Once thought to be strictly caused by mechanical “wear and tear”, research now indicates that OA is really an inflammatory disease by nature.
These same biomarkers wreak havoc in the joints, creating the pain, stiffness and loss of mobility that so often characterizes OA.
What You Can Do About It
Doctors are working to develop tests that could identify inflammation at its first stages, when it first becomes a problem, and before it becomes chronic. The rapid development and acceptance of regenerative therapy treatments like stem cell therapy and PRP can be helpful in reducing chronic pain for those already afflicted with such maladies.
Until researchers have more information, there is still a lot you can do to help yourself and your situation.
Lifestyle changes can perhaps be the first line of defense. Changing habits can include:
- Limit the amount of time you’re sitting or otherwise sedentary.
- Get moving!
- Introduce daily walks into your schedule. Moderate walking for as little as 20 minutes per day can rev up your metabolism and work wonders to prevent inflammation from setting in.
- If you’re one to watch television several hours per day, get on the treadmill and watch your favorite shows while you’re moving.
- Control your weight by eating a healthy diet; obesity also causes inflammation biomarkers to run out of control.
Remember, small changes can have a big impact over time!
As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition