The Link Between Sitting Still and Type 2 Diabetes

Why should I take a Fitness Break?

Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns, including a 112% increase in your risk of type 2 diabetes and a 147% increase in heart disease risk.

Sitting for long periods of time burns fewer calories and can lead to weight gain. Active muscles release chemicals that can reduce bad cholesterol and burn blood glucose for fuel. This will  help you keep your  insulin levels steady.

The key is breaking up your activity throughout the day

You burn 30% more calories when you’re standing than when you’re sitting. There are many activities you can do during a day that will increase your activity. Here are some examples:

While you watch TV 

  • Dance
  • Do wall push-ups
  • Lift weights, or use resistance bands
  • March or jog in place
  • Ride a stationary bike
  • Walk around during ads

While you use a computer

  • Sit on an exercise ball
  • Stand up. Make sure the computer is at a comfortable height

While you talk on the phone

  • Do side steps
  • March in place
  • Walk around

At work (if you have a desk job)

  • Ask your coworkers to hold standup meetings
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator 
  • Talk to coworkers in person, instead of emailing them
  • Use a copy machine on the other side of the building.

While you travel

  • If you’re a passenger, be active while you ride. Do leg lifts, use a resistance band, or tighten your muscles
  • Get out at rest stops when you drive
  • Stand on the bus or train

What if I forget to take fitness breaks throughout the day?

If you are one of those who tend to forget to take fitness breaks during the day, ask a friend or family member to remind you. You can also post a note in a place where you will see it, set a timer, or use a computer app to remind you to take a fitness break.

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