What if we told you that you could reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease by simply changing one daily habit? You probably wouldn’t believe us, but one regular habit that many of us have has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
So, what is this common habit that’s putting our health at risk? It’s TV watching.
Researchers have linked prolonged TV watching — or a sedentary lifestyle — with a higher risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. To reduce the harmful effects of prolonged sitting, it’s advised that you get up for frequent moving breaks. So far, a sedentary lifestyle has been linked to accelerated aging, cancer, and blood clots.
The researchers at the University of Turku followed individuals who were transitioning from the workforce into retirement to determine if this transition could influence bad habits like prolonged sitting versus free time.
The researchers found that the daily amount of sitting increased over time from four to six hours and TV viewing also increased as a result. Sitting increases were seen higher among women, those who sat for their job, those with a low physical activity level, those who suffered from sleep disorders and mental health issues, and those who had poor health prior to retirement.
The simple answer to this problem is to simply sit less and move more, but for some people, this can be challenging. Therefore, if you are bound to sitting, then ensuring you’re moving in this position can also help. For example, you can lift your arms or legs, wiggle your toes, and stretch. It’s also a good idea while sitting to tap your feet on the ground as if you were running on the spot. You can do this for 30 seconds at a time.
Finding ways to move more while sitting along with taking those necessary breaks to move around can help reduce the harmful effects of prolonged sitting.
Related: Venous Thromboembolism Risk Higher with More Television Hours