Just two weeks of normal office life without exercise can put people on the path to diabetes, researchers have found
Sitting at a desk all day, driving to work and lazing on the sofa at weekends triggered ill health in all the participants of a new study.
The research team at Liverpool University warned that Britons’ increasingly inactive lives could damage their health in the long term, potentially leading to serious conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and strokes. With us here in Ireland you can be sure we’re on a similar path too.
However, the experiment also showed that the ill-effects can be reversed with simple steps like taking the stairs instead of the lift, getting off the bus a stop early and going to the supermarket instead of shopping online.
Lead researcher Dr Daniel Cuthbertson warned a sedentary lifestyle quickly begins to “sow the seeds for future disease”.
He said: ‘Through various advances, our society has become a lot more sedentary. Our grandparents did washing manually, they did manual labour, people were physically active. Now many of us are based at desks tapping away – we don’t even go out to do our shopping.
“Sedentary behaviour has a number of adverse health effects that over an extended period of time could be harmful.”
Researchers followed 45 people with an average age of 36 who did not regularly do any active exercise like jogging or going to the gym but all walked at least 10,000 steps a day as part of their daily lives.
They were asked to become inactive for two weeks. This involved getting public transport or driving to work, taking lifts or escalators instead of stairs, cutting their steps down to around 1,500 a day and spending the weekend at home, mainly watching TV or playing computer games.