It is no secret that a sedentary lifestyle can lead to severe health problems such as obesity, heart disease, or diabetes and now, a new disease might be added to the list: liver disease, a study suggests.
South Korean researches conducted a study and found that sedentary people had a 9 percent increased risk of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver diseased (NAFLD), than those sat down less than five hours a day. Also, the risk of developing NAFLD was lowered by 20 percent in people who were physically active, as opposed to those who lead an inactive lifestyle, the study suggests.
“The amount of time spent doing sedentary activity such as sitting in front of a computer or watching TV has increased dramatically in recent years. More than half of the average person’s waking day involves sedentary activities,” explained Dr. Seungho Ryu, a professor of environmental and occupational medicine at Kangbuk Samsung Hospital in South Korea.
The study analysed the levels of sitting time and physical activity that were reported by a number of 139,000 Korean women and men who had an average age of 39.9 years. Scientists confirmed the presence of NALFD by using ultrasounds.
Given the fact that most of the people had a good general health state, the presence of NALFD could only be linked to the amount of time the participants spent sitting or doing physical activities on a daily basis. If the results turn out to be correct, people should be encouraged to reduce their sitting time and increase their physical activity, advise experts.
Dr. Ryu says that instead of sitting people should do lights physical activities, because even small thing like that help reduce the risk of developing NAFLD.
Michael Trenell, Director, MoveLab and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) senior research fellow, said that the impact of sedentary behaviour on physiology is by no means surprising, since our bodies were designed to move.
Sedentary behaviour can lower cardiovascular function and can lead to insulin resistance, which may further lead to Type-2 diabetes in patients who already suffer from insulin resistance.
As of now NALFD can only be treated by changing ones lifestyle, because there are no drugs that can treat the disease. According to Trenell, we can start at 150 minutes of moderate exercise each day, which is considered a good amount of physical activity.
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