A new study now proves that people who sit down for too long have a higher risk of suffering from a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NALFD) than people who spend more time standing up or doing exercise.
We all know that being active helps us live longer, be fitter and healthier. Health experts recommend that we spend at least 150 minutes doing physical exercise every week. This means we either need to go to the gym three times a week or do some moderate physical activity for thirty minutes on a daily basis.
However, this might not be enough if we need to spend the whole day sitting in front of the computer or at the office without moving too much. The human body was not designed for a sedentary lifestyle, even if the digital era does not allow us to be as active as we should be.
A study carried out by a team of Korean researchers reveals that people who spend 10 hours or more than that sitting down while they are awake, face 9 percent higher risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease than those who sit down for five hours. Those who are more active can decrease the risk by about 20 percent.
“The message is clear, our chairs are slowly but surely killing us. Our body is designed to move and it is not surprising that sedentary behavior, characterized by low muscle activity, has a direct impact on physiology,” stated Professor Michael I Trenell, who works at Newcastle University in the UK.
The researchers led by Dr. Seungho Ryu, who works at Kangbuk Samsung Hospital in South Korea as a professor of environmental and occupational medicine, reviewed the results of a survey that involved 140,000 people. The participants filled a questionnaire related to the time they spent sitting down and doing exercise every week. All of them were generally healthy.
The experts also had their liver tested though an ultrasonography and it was revealed 40,000 of them suffered from non-alcoholic liver disease.
The authors of the study said that physical exercise helps prevent this condition up to a certain point, but it is not enough if people spend more than half of their waking day sitting on a chair.
Sadly, the numbers show that the amount of time a people spend in this position is increasing. This is partly due to the long working hours that so many individuals spend at the office, but also to the leisure activities that involve watching TV, playing computer games or surfing the internet, all of which are done sitting down.
The study was recently published in the journal Hepathology.
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