Research suggests exercise counteracts sitting time

Office workers can stave off health problems associated with sitting down all day by regularly exercising, a new study from the Leicester Diabetes Centre has found.

Being physically active may offset some of the negative consequences of spending large amounts of time not being active, the paper published in BMC Public Health has revealed.

The study further emphasises the importance of physical activity in the promotion and maintenance of health. In contrast, people described as ‘couch potatoes’ are putting their health at risk by spending too much time sat down and not exercising - and low sedentary (sitting) time in the absence of physical activity is associated with higher HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

Researcher Kishan Bakrania, said: “This research is significant because it demonstrates yet again why physical activity and exercise is so important. It shows that people who spend large amounts of time not moving either through work, leisure or lifestyle can counteract some of the negative effects of sedentary behaviour by regularly exercising.”

The Leicester Diabetes Centre is an international centre of excellence in diabetes research, education and innovation led by Professor Melanie Davies and Professor Kamlesh Khunti. The centre is a partnership between the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and the University of Leicester.