We know that sitting for a long period of time is bad for our health. But apparently it also makes you age faster. According to new research sitting for ten hours or more a day ages the body with eight years.
Aladdin Shadyab, a post-doctoral fellow in family medicine and public health at the University of California, San Diego conducted research on the impact of sitting on the length of the telomeres, the caps at the end of a chromosome, the carrier of our genes. As cells grow older and divide, the telomeres get shorter and give an indication as to the age of cells and thus, indirectly, of the biological age of the body as well.
For this study researchers took blood tests from 1480 women between 64 and 95 years old. A questionnaire helped to get insight into participants sitting, lying down and sleeping habits. To record physical activity the women were also asked to wear an accelerometer. Analysis of the data led to two groups. A group of women exercising half an hour a day and a group of women who kept to a sedentary position for ten hours or more a day.
Remarkably, the group of women spending most of their time sitting down had shorter telomeres than the more active women, and were on the average biologically eight years older. Their cells ageing faster than the women who got the recommended amount of daily exercise. Physical activity should be part of our daily lives, even at 80 years old, so says Doctor Shadyab. I think, I will walk César a bit more often…
For people with a sedentary profession, experts advise to get out of your seat every 20 minutes, to stand up and walk around for two or three minutes.
Sources: American Journal of Epidemiology, Time