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Watching TV Linked to Increased Diabetes Ris
Written by Dr. Kellyann Petrucci
People at risk for diabetes have to watch a number of things, including their diet and their blood sugar. But according to a new study, there’s something they shouldn’t watch too much: TV.
Researchers have found that if you have prediabetes, every hour you spend watching TV makes you 3.4% more likely to actually develop type 2 diabetes. That’s right—a 3.4% increase in your chance of getting diabetes with each hour of TV time.
Of course we have to keep in mind the old adage that correlation doesn’t prove causation. So we can’t say that watching TV causes diabetes.
But that increased risk seems to happen regardless of other factors such as taking diabetes medication, eating healthy, and exercising.
So something is going on, and what scientists think it is has ramifications for us all.
Here’s the deal.
When we sit for a long time, everything slows down—especially our metabolism. It’s a lot like what happens when we sleep. But when we sleep, it’s good that everything slows so our body can rest and rejuvenate.
This recent study only included participants already at higher-than-average risk for diabetes and only examined their TV habits. And it’s likely that if you’re not already prediabetic, your increased risk of diabetes from an hour in front of the TV could be less than 3.4%.
But it’s also likely that the same basic risk-increasing factors apply to all of us and to sitting in front ofany screen for hours on end.
When we surf the web, our brains might get a bit of a workout, but our bodies have worked it out that they might as well be asleep.
It’s time to ward off diabetes, obesity, and a host of other problems by getting moving again. Here are some tips:
·When you watch TV, walk around the house during ads. If there are no ads, take breaks to walk around. ·Go for several short walks throughout your day. ·Take stretch and movement breaks from the computer at least every hour. ·Walk when you’re on the phone. ·Bike or walk to work. ·Park far from places you drive to, and walk the distance. ·Consider a standing or treadmill desk.
These are just a few suggestions for incorporating movement into your everyday life. Developing an exercise routine and other elements of a healthy, nurturing lifestyle is also critical.
It’s fine to enjoy TV or to regularly work and play on a computer. But never forget, you were made to move!
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