University of Liverpool | March 2018 | Sedentary lifestyles ‘more harmful’ if type 2 diabetes in the family
A new study emphasises how beneficial physical exercise can be for those with a familial history of Type 2 diabetes. Although earlier research has suggested that physical inactivity can have harmful effects on the body, this research advances previous findings, by suggesting these effects could be even greater if there is a family history of Type 2 diabetes.
Researcher Dr Kelly Bowden Davies, from Liverpool University’s Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease, conducted the study with a team of researchers, said: “The results of our study highlight the critical importance of avoiding low levels of physical activity and sedentary behaviour, for example too much sitting, television viewing, computer gaming and so on. We know the benefits of exercise, the challenge now is to encourage people to simply move more and sit less.”
The research which was funded by Diabetes UK, looked at 45 individuals with an average age of 36, who were physically active, that is they all walked at least 10,000 steps a day. A third of the sample (16) had a close relative with a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. Initially, the participants reduced their physical activity for two weeks, which included driving, rather than walking, and using lifts or escalators instead of stairs to limit the number of steps to around 1,500 a day. Participant’s leisure time was spent at home, mainly watching TV or playing computer games.
Following this period of relative inactivity, the researchers found that all of the sample had higher levels of fat and their bodies were less able to respond to the hormone, insulin (known as insulin resistance) than at the outset. Equally, following an additional fortnight’s observation, this time the participant’s resumed their more active lifestyles, they were assessed again and the researchers found the adverse effects were reversed.
For the research team, this underlines how beneficial physical activity can be, and the important role it plays in reducing the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Dr Elizabeth Robertson, Director of Research at Diabetes UK, said: “This Diabetes UK study sheds light on the potential harmful effects that short-term inactivity could have on our health, especially if we have a close family history of Type 2 diabetes.
“People with Type 2 diabetes in the family are two to six times more likely to develop the condition than those who do not have a family history of the condition. Living an active lifestyle and eating a healthy balanced diet are the key ways to reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes.”
The full news item is available from University of Liverpool
Sedentary lifestyles ‘more harmful’ if type 2 diabetes in the family
In the media:
The Telegraph Just two weeks of sedentary office working risks diabetes – new report