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In general being inactive isn’t good for your health, however it can be even more damaging if you are a woman. According to research conducted by the University of Leicester, women who sit down for long periods during the course of a day are more likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes. However, the researchers were unable to discover the same pattern in men.
The research was conducted by a team from the University of Leicester’s Departments of Cardiovascular Sciences and Health Sciences, who assessed 500 men and women aged 40 and over. They looked at the amount of time these people spent sitting during their day over the course of a week and monitored the level of chemicals in their bloodstream that have been associated with diabetes and metabolic dysfunction.
They discovered that those women who spent most of their day sitting, had higher levels of insulin and other substances that act as indicators of problematic inflammation. Although scientists could not accurately identify why this is more likely to happen in women than men, they speculate that it may be due to the fact that women tend to snack more when they sit down and the level of activity they then do when they get up might not be as intense as that done by men.
Dr Thomas Yates, who was in charge of the study, believes that it provides important insight into the link between sitting and an increase in insulin resistance as well as chronic inflammation. He also said that even if women exercise for the recommended 30 minutes a day, it might not compensate for hours of sitting still.
'It therefore suggests that enabling women to spend less time sitting may be an important factor in preventing chronic disease’, said Dr Yates about the research.
However, further research is required to examine the impact of reduced sitting time on human health.