Chemist Direct Promotes Increased Physical Activity to Cut the Odds of Chronic Disease like Type II Diabetes and Reduce the Negative Effects of Ageing

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Living a less sedentary lifestyle over and above the recommend amount of daily physical activity improves the quality of life and decreases the potential of contracting chronic diseases, according to the latest data provided by the Australian 45 and Up Study. (1)

Physical Activity

Living a less sedentary lifestyle improves quality of life & decreases the chance of chronic diseases

Not only do people need to be more physically active by walking or doing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, but they should also be looking at ways to reduce their sitting time.

This study is an ongoing research project conducted by Sara and Richard Rosenkranz, both assistant professors of human nutrition with the Kansas State University, on the effects of decreased physical activity in the modern world and how it affects the long-term quality of health and the occurrence for disease during ageing.

It is recorded in a previously published article with the International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity (2), that the chances of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and becoming obese increased proportionally with the amount of time a person sat, eventually leading to an earlier state of mortality.

After reviewing the health and ageing of 194,545 men and women ages 45 to 106, this research further discovered that sitting for extended periods of time caused a lipoprotein lipase, or LPL molecule which helps to take in fat or triglycerides and use it for energy, to shut down. This affected the metabolism processes from being stimulated throughout the day and caused the body to slowly degenerate. Something as simple as taking regular breaks to stand up or move around during long periods of sitting showed the ability to restart the LPL functions and retain good health.

"Not only do people need to be more physically active by walking or doing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, but they should also be looking at ways to reduce their sitting time," Richard Rosenkranz said. The twofold approach -- sitting less and moving more -- is key to improving the health and quality of life while at the same time reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, breast cancer and colon cancer, among other chronic illnesses. (3)

"There is only so far that messages about avoiding diseases can go, especially when talking about chronic disease because it is so far removed and in the future," Richard Rosenkranz said. "For young people, being motivated by avoiding diseases is probably not the most pressing matter in their lives. We wanted to look at excellent health and excellent quality of life as things to aspire to in health."

This is supported in another recent study of nearly 100,000 US nurses who increased their exercise routines to include lifting weights, doing press-ups or similar resistance exercises for over a period of eight years. The women who engaged in at least 150 minutes a week of aerobic activity, which included at least an hour a week of muscle-strengthening activities, showed a risk reduction for developing certain chronic diseases such as diabetes, when compared with inactive women. (4)

These findings were linked with a lower risk of developing type II diabetes, cutting it down by a third, according to the PLoS Medicine report. (5) The Harvard Medical School researchers point out that their work is not perfect as only nurses who were mostly Caucasian were used and the study participants individually reported how much exercise they did rather than directly measuring it. Nevertheless, the benefits seen in the study indicated that doing aerobic workouts that exercise the heart and lungs is required for a healthy lifestyle and something which adults are meant to do for at least 150 minutes a week.


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Samantha Smith
Chemist Direct
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