Researchers in the UK have found that women who spend prolonged periods of time sitting down could be increasing their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The study, reported in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, showed that the chances of women developing diabetes risk factors for diabetes, including a resistance to insulin and chronic inflammation, went up the longer they spent sitting, but that this link was not present in men. Women that spent prolonged periods sitting but who took regular physical exercise were also found to face a greater likelihood of an increased risk from early diabetes symptoms.
The study examined data on around 500 people in the UK who took part in a diabetes screening programmen, noting “If these results are replicated, they have implications for lifestyle recommendations, public health policy, and health behavior change interventions, as they suggest that enabling women to spend less time sitting is an important factor in preventing chronic disease.”
The findings were explained as being due to women who had prolonged periods of sitting being associated with insulin resistance and high levels of markers of inflammation, such as c-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). However, the relationship lessened when factors such as body mass index (BMI) were taken into account, indicating that obesity could be partly responsible, and that hormones that are released from fat tissue could be having a negative effect on the body’s metabolism.

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