AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

Sit less, Live longer

Many jobs involve sitting all day

Many jobs involve sitting all day

People tend to spend most of their days sitting. Despite maybe an hour or two spent at the gym, people are sedentary for a majority of their day.  Two studies were performed, one showing that sitting less can slow cells from aging. The other found that standing up, even if your not moving, can be beneficial.

Past studies show that sitting for hours makes a person more likely to develop diabetes, have heart disease, and even die prematurely.

Scientists in Sweden wanted to find out why sitting and illness were linked so they created an experiment altering the time people were sitting or exercising and tracked their physiological results. They focused on the people’s telomere changes. They then compared these telomere lengths to the length of obese, sedentary men and women telomeres. These volunteers then were instructed to exercise and sit less. After six months, the researchers found that their telomeres had lengthened; this means that the cells were getting physiologically younger.

In conclusion, the telomeres shortened much more in response to reduction of sedentary time than to exercising. This means that just be sitting less, one can avoid aging, and other illnesses. Another experiment preformed by Dr. Katzmarzyk found that standing, not even moving, dropped mortality rates. This suggests that standing is not inactive or dangerous, but rather beneficial.

I found this article very interesting to me because I am very active in sports, but I also am sitting a lot in school. I want to know whether the amount of sitting I am doing is greater than my exercise, causing me to age more in the long run. I think it is more important that we are active in school, despite the fact that most of us do after school sports.

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1 Comment

  1. pintocytosis

    Great article! I have heard something similar to this article before and it is interesting to know of an actual study that determines if this “sitting is bad” myth is true. Similarly to you, in school I obviously sit during my classes and the lack of movement throughout the day is troubling to me. I have heard of different ways people have tried to combat this issue, and some have been pretty drastic. At the University of Michigan, a kinesiology professor attempted to have all the seats from his classroom removed in order to resolve the issue of sitting for long periods of time. I have also heard of people at various workplaces switching out their normal chairs in favor of using exercise balls to sit on instead. This swap has been an issue though, because people have popped the exercise balls and actually really injured themselves. For more information on exercise balls and the validity of using them in place of chairs in schools, go to this link.

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