Too much sitting 'linked to diabetes'

08 April 2015 09:58

Too much time sat in front of the box can lead to diabetes, researchers warn

Too much time sat in front of the box can lead to diabetes, researchers warn

People at a high risk of developing diabetes are 3.4% more likely to get it for every hour in the day they spend sitting in front of their TV set, according to a new study.

US researchers examined the information gleaned from 3,000 participants in a Diabetes Prevention Programme.

Lifestyle intervention

Some of the overweight adults were given a diabetes drug (metformin), while others took a placebo or were involved in a lifestyle intervention programme.

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Before they took part in the new study, the adults said they would watch TV for two hours and 20 minutes on average.

Those who took the placebo spent nine minutes less in front of the box, while those on metformin watched six minutes less TV per week, the researchers found.

They expected the adults that took part in the lifestyle intervention scheme to spend less time sat down watching TV, and this was indeed the case, by 37 minutes on average.

Sedentary behaviour

The sedentary behaviour of all the participants made them 3.4% more likely to develop diabetes for every hour they spent watching television per day.

This was the figure recorded after various adjustments were made, depending on the sex of those who took part, how old they were, how much physical activity they did, and any lifestyle interventions.

The researchers at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania said encouraging people to watch less TV while sat down and do more physical exercise should be included in intervention programmes.

And they believe the effect sitting down has on body weight may have an effect on the link with diabetes.

Dr Andrea Kriska, the senior author of the study published in the Diabetologia journal, says intervention schemes should concentrate on getting people to sit down less, as well as doing exercise.

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