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Sitting tied to Increased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes, Study Say

Update Date: Feb 04, 2016 10:26 AM EST

A new study has found more evidence that sitting can increase risk of certain health conditions that can lead to premature death.

For this study, a team of researchers from the Netherlands found that the more time people spend on the couch, the higher their risk of type 2 diabetes becomes. To conduct the study, the team at Maastricht University had recruited 2,497 participants with an average age of 60.

The participants were strapped with motion monitors, which tracked their activity levels for eight days. Participants' glucose levels were also measured. The majority of the participants spent at least nine hours sitting per day.

The researchers found that people who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes were less active than people without the condition. The diabetic group spent an extra 26 minutes per day - on average - sitting down. For every additional hour that was spent sitting, risk of diabetes increased by 22 percent and risk of metabolic syndrome increased by 39 percent. Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions, which include high blood pressure and high blood sugar that contribute to one's risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

The researchers noted that people who had type 2 diabetes tended to be smokers. They also had higher body mass indexes (BMI), which could have resulted from sitting too much.

"Our findings could have important implications for public health as they suggest that sedentary behavior may play a significant role in the development and prevention of type 2 diabetes, independent of high-intensity physical activity," lead researcher Julianne van der Berg said. "Consideration should be given to including strategies to reduce the amount of sedentary time in diabetes prevention programs."

The study was published in the journal, Diabetologia.

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