Women now have even more motivation to get up and move throughout the day. According to a new study published in the American Journal in Preventive Medicine, women who spend between four and seven hours each day sitting are at increased risk of developing the early signs of type 2 diabetes. However, this research does not show the same link in men.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson Jessica Crandall sums up the problem by stating, “The reality for many Americans is that we work nine-to-five jobs and are sedentary most of the work day, increasing our risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The good news is that type 2 diabetes is preventable through maintaining a healthy weight and engaging in physical activity throughout the day, not just after you get home from work.”
The importance of getting activity throughout the day is highlighted with the fact that the risks are still significant if moderate or vigorous exercise is added in after a long day of sitting.
Crandall suggests implementing frequent breaks for 10 minute walks and stretching while at work. You can also head to the gym during your lunch break and walk to deliver messages or questions to coworkers rather than sending emails or using the phone.
Combined with moving more throughout the day, you can use nutrition to help with your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. “If you’re at risk for developing diabetes, work with a registered dietician to develop an eating plan tailored to your lifestyle,” Crandall suggests. There are other factors that might increase your risk like obesity, lack of physical activity and family history. The risk for diabetes is also two to four times higher for minority women than for white women.
The message shown in this research is one that highlights the importance of a healthy diet and moving more to prevent type 2 diabetes. The top three ways to prevent or possibly reverse type 2 diabetes include eating healthy, exercising more and losing weight. To eat healthy you don’t have to cut out any specific food groups. Instead, do things like include a small portion of healthy carbs with each meal, make healthy swaps for unhealthy ingredients, watch your portion sizes and avoid processed foods. With exercise you can start slow by adding a 30 minute walk and 20 minutes of strength training three days per week and increase that as you are able. Incorporating more movement throughout the day and a healthier nutrition plan will help you lose weight if necessary and aid in the task of preventing or reversing type 2 diabetes.