I love it when new research supports my existing beliefs and bias, don’t we all?! 😉 ‘Sitting is the new smoking,’ emerged as a new war-cry a little while ago…then naturally, soon after came the nay-sayers, flooding the media with counter evidence. But you know I have to say, for most of us living and working in integrative health, some knowledge is truly intuitive…and it’s not often I say that word. Originally, I got into naturopathy I guess because I liked nature (I originally applied and got into Enviro Science…sheesh that was a bullet dodged!) and what resonated so strongly with me was the very simple idea that we should probably live more in harmony with nature and our health would likely benefit. Ok…I had lived in Byron Bay the year prior to entering my degree…you can see how I got here!
Is sitting for work from 9-5 and then getting home to sit some more, just in a comfier place in front of a box that speaks to us & encourages us not to move a muscle because we might miss something and come out of our trance (!), the way nature intended us humans to interact with our world?
I’m making a wild assumption here I know…but I don’t think so.
So another big NZ review has emerged looking at 44 studies looking into the health effects of ‘interruptions in prolonged sitting’ and guess what…we’re right! You know, about the not natural thing. Light-intensity activity every half hour has significant benefits. Moving regularly has positive outcomes on blood glucose, insulin, TAG levels, blood pressure and general vascular function. This study showed that physical activity of any intensity reduces concentrations of glucose and insulin in the blood and these benefits didn’t depend on the age or weight of participants nor the type of meal that was consumed. The bottom line is: regular activity breaks were more effective compared to continuous physical activity. Interesting to mention on that note are the so-called ‘Blue Zones’, five communities with the world’s longest-lived people spread out on four different continents. And here we go again 😊 The study on the zones revealed that our first pillar of health really should be to move frequently and naturally and that these people live in environments that constantly nudge them into moving without thinking about it! And better yet, no gym memberships required 😉
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