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If you want to live a longer and healthier life, the general consensus among researchers is that you need to start spending less time sitting. A new study conducted by Swedish researchers has helped shed some light onto why being sedentary tends to lead to a shorter lifespan.
According to the study’s findings, which were published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine on Sept. 3rd, the more time one spends on their feet the longer their telomeres. Telomeres are little bits of DNA that protect chromosome ends from fraying by slowing down the shrinking process that causes cells to die (like how the plastic tips on the end of your shoelaces protect the ends from fraying). Lead researcher Per Sjogren, an associate professor in the department of public health and caring sciences at UppsalaUniversity, explained that having longer telomeres helps keep our DNA young, which leads to living longer lives. Further studies still need to be conducted to determine why spending less time sitting might lead to longer telomeres.
For quite some time now it’s been known that living healthier and more active lifestyles leads to a longer life expectancy, but like Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center (who was not involved with this study) explained, "this study adds a missing snippet to that tale by noting a direct correlation between reduced time sitting each day and increased telomere length."
Great news for those who have been struggling in their attempts to become more active, these study findings indicate that simply spending less time sitting will help them live longer. For those who need a little extra motivation to help get them up, using a pedometer is great way to help you analyze how much time you’ve spent on your feet. The American Heart Association recommends aiming for at least 10,000 steps per day, and using a low-cost pedometer is an easy way to help ensure that you’re not spending too much time sitting and being sedentary.