We have all been told to be more active to help ward off diabetes and manage our weight. But, what about just being less inactive? A large study that looked at individuals who had pre-diabetes (the Diabetes Prevention Protocol) found that when people just decreased their sitting time, they decreased their risk of developing diabetes. This was independent of whatever “exercise” they did. For every hour per day of TV watching, the risk of developing diabetes increased by 3.4%. When looking at both work related sitting and TV watching, those who spend the least amount of time sitting were less  apt to develop diabetes. This goes right along with the findings of the National Weight Control Registry that shows that people who lose weight and keep it off long term tend to watch less than 10 hours of TV per week. Other research has shown that sitting has a negative effect on weight control and blood lipid levels. We have long known that children who spend more than 2 hours/day in front of a screen have higher rates of overweight and obesity.

So, what are you waiting for? Turn off the TV or computer and get up!

Easier said than done! After a day of work—even if we sit all day, we are tired. Relaxing in front of the TV sounds pretty nice. What other things could we do in the evening? How can you decrease the time SITTING in front of the TV to less than 1 to 1 ½ hours/evening?

  • Stand and fold laundry while you watch TV
  • Have a stand up phone conversation with a friend
  • Water your garden
  • Do a little light housework

What can you do if you have a sitting job?

  • Find a way to make your desk “sit to stand”—check out Vari Desks on the internet (they have a variety of devices for making a work station flexible).
  • Get up and stretch every 20 minutes while working.
  • Stand while talking on the phone.

How can we get our kids off their behinds? Any playing that is not sitting in front of a screen is great. Of course, outside play is fantastic, but what can they do in the house?

  • Build with blocks or legos
  • Play with puzzles
  • Play dress-up
  • Play board games
  • Build forts
  • Do art projects

Be creative……What do you and your kids do to decrease sitting time? I’d love to hear your ideas!

References:
Diabetologia (2015) 58:1198–1202
DOI 10.1007/s00125-015-3565-0
The impact of lifestyle intervention on sedentary time
in individuals at high risk of diabetes
Bonny Rockette-Wagner1 & Sharon Edelstein2 & Elizabeth M. Venditti1 & Deepti Reddy2 &
George A. Bray3 & Mary Lou Carrion-Petersen4 & Dana Dabelea5,14 &
Linda M. Delahanty6,15 & Hermes Florez7,16 & PaulW. Franks8,9,10 & Maria G. Montez11 &
Richard Rubin12 & Andrea M. Kriska1,13 & for the Diabetes Prevention ProgramResearch
Group
National Weight Control Registry, www.nwcr.ws

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