Beware: Prolonged Sitting Can Build Fat around Your Organs


For those officials who prefer sitting in their rocking chairs all day long without physical activities, a new study has got negative news for them. The research conducted by scientists from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, has found that sitting for too long breeds harmful and invisible fat around our internal organs.

The study, published in the journal Obesity and reported on MNT, discovered that sedentary time correlates directly with how much fat we build around our organs, which could be a breeding ground for other ailments.

According to the lead of the research, Dr. Joe Henson, a research associate at the University of Leicester: “We know that spending long periods of time sedentary is unhealthy and a risk factor for chronic illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.”

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“Likewise, the amount of fat deposited around our internal organs may also predispose us to these diseases,” Dr. Henson says, and he’s not the only one. In a previous study we reported on, visceral fat inside the abdominal cavity was shown to raise the risk of heart disease”.

Officials sitting in office

To arrive at their findings, Dr. Henson and his team used MRI to scan 124 participants who were likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The MRI scanners examined the fat around the participants’ livers, as well as their “invisible,” inner fat — which is also known as visceral fat — and total abdominal fat.

The participants had accelerometers that were placed around their waists for the measurement level of their movement, the number they spent sitting down was also measured by the team over the course of 1 week.

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Other data that were collected from the participants are: age, race and ethnicity, and the levels of physical activity in their calculations.

It was found that the more time people spent sitting down during the day, the more visceral and total abdominal fat they had, as well as having more fat around their liver.

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Dr. Henson noted: “Our findings also show that reaching the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity may offer some protection against the harmful effects of prolonged sedentary time.”

Study co-author Melanie Davies, a professor of diabetes medicine at the University of Leicester, also comments on the study, saying, “Lack of physical activity and being overweight are two risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes.”

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She continued: “However, the effects of prolonged sedentary time and whether physical activity can play a mediating role by reducing fat deposits on internal organs remain unclear” .

“This research,” adds Prof. Davies, “starts to shed a light on any connections between the two by using MRI to measure the distribution of fat in an individual’s body and analyzing that in relation to their activity levels.”

The takeaway from the study is for those in the habit of sitting for so long to cultivate the act of strolling or step-counting during the day, in order to reduce internal fat, as well as live a healthy life.


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