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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Food Guide > March 2017 > IS WORK STOPPING YOU GETTING FIT?


Being told to ‘stand up, sit less and move more’ is all very well if you have the time. We share solutions for fitting more movement into a busy day job


WE KNOW WE NEED TO find time for exercise – the government recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every week to stay healthy – and it’s sound advice. After all, if we can reduce our risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease and even ageing, why wouldn’t we?

It means moving just 30 minutes a day out of 1,440, and in theory it shouldn’t be hard. So why are so many of us struggling to fit it all in?

For many, it’s work. Sitting all day isn’t a choice but a fact of life for those with desk jobs. Until recently, we thought the main blight of this was poor posture, but research now indicates there’s more going on at cellular level, which is affected by how often we break sedentary periods – regardless of whether we work out.

What sitting does to the body

Sitting for too long is now thought to be an independent contributor to an increased risk of disease such as type 2 diabetes. When the body moves, signals are sent to muscles and cells that need fuel to start absorbing sugar from the blood and reduce fats called triglycerides. If you’re sitting all day, these signals don’t fire, leaving insulin hanging around in your bloodstream. The University of Leicester recently found breaking up periods of prolonged sitting (four to five hours) with standing and stepping reduced fasting insulin levels by 4% to 11%.

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About Healthy Food Guide

You can eat carbs! Our dietitian discusses how good carbs can help with your weight loss and energy levels. We find out how one reader reversed his type 2 diabetes through diet, and get an expert update on clean eating and the processed foods you SHOULD be eating. Plus, our food psychologist reveals how you can take control of your willpower and say no to office cake. All this plus 30 calorie–counted recipes in the March issue of Healthy Food Guide.