Study suggests sitting for an hour a day can increase type 2 diabetes risk by a fifth

A small Dutch study has suggested that sitting down for an hour a day can increase your type 2 diabetes risk by as much as a fifth.1

The researchers examined the movements of a group of 2,500 people aged between 40 and 75 over a period of a week, using accelerometers. They found that those within the group who had type 2 diabetes (29% of the participants) spent roughly 26 minutes longer a day sitting or lying down, in comparison to those without diabetes.

They used this information to calculate that every hour spent being sedentary increased the chance of developing type 2 diabetes by around 22%. Importantly, it also found that it made no difference whether people spent long periods sitting down or whether they got up regularly, it was simply the amount of time spent sitting or lying down that made the difference.

Overall, this is interesting research which helps demonstrate just how important it is to remain physically active. However, it will need further study if it is to prove that sedentary behaviour is more than a symptom of the development of type 2 diabetes.

Reference

1 van der Berg J, Stehouwer CDA, Bosma H, et al. Associations of total amount and patterns of sedentary behaviour with type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome: The Maastricht Study. Diabetologia. Published online February 2 2016

Headlines

Too much sitting down raises Type 2 diabetes risks by up to a fifth. Daily Mirror, February 2 2016

Harm chair: Diabetes risk soars the longer you laze, researchers warn. The Sun, February 3 2016

Sitting raises diabetes risk - and the gym won't help: Every hour someone spends being inactive can increase chance of developing Type 2 by a fifth. Mail Online, February 3 2016

An extra hour on the sofa could increase diabetes risk by a fifth. The Daily Telegraph, February 2 2016