Your body ages with sitting and this is how it happens
Once again researchers warn us that sitting can accelerate aging by as much as eight years. A new study highlights what our body is really doing on a cellular level when we are sedentary.
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine looked at women who don't get much exercise and sit ten hours a day for their study. What they discovered is an eye-opener.
Sitting shortens telomeres, but what the heck does that mean?
Researchers have been studying telomeres for a while because they seem to hold the secret to a long life. Telomeres are tiny caps at the end of chromosomes that constantly break down and are replaced.
As we age, telomeres become shorter, which means cells can no longer reproduce. Certain activities might be anti-aging, based on studies, because they help keep telomeres longer.
Examples that could keep telomeres longer include:
- Calorie restriction
- Reducing stress
- Consuming antioxidant rich foods
Other things besides aging that make our telomeres shorter that we know include:
- Unhealthy lifestyle practices
This new study found lack of activity from prolonged sitting shortens those telomeres. In essence, sitting advances our biological clock; causing our cells to age faster. Women in the study were biologically 8 years older compared to more active women.
The study is believed to be the first to actually measure how sitting can make us biologically older than our real age.
Researchers also found that exercising for 30 minutes can change the cellular damage brought about by sitting. Women in the study who sat longer did not have shorter telomeres seen among women who were sedentary.
The investigation included 1500 women age 64 to 95
Aladdin Shadyab, PhD, lead author of the study with the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UC San Diego School of Medicine said in a media release: “Discussions about the benefits of exercise should start when we are young, and physical activity should continue to be part of our daily lives as we get older, even at 80 years old.”