Friday, 26 June 2015

Bank employees are more prone to diabetes than other sector employees

Are you sitting in your cubicle? Stand up and move around! Because walking is a healthier option. Sitting, like smoking, has become the bane of our generation. Any office shares some common features: Incessant tapping noise of the keyboard, phones ringing, and the passive act of sitting in chairs. All these are the makings of a sedentary lifestyle.

From the seat of your vehicle to the office chair and then the couch at home, your daily displacement, medical experts say is too insufficient to keep you healthy . They say that if you spend most of the day sitting then you are putting yourself at higher risk of diabetes and other lifestyle diseases.

A study was recently conducted by M V Hospital for Diabetes to assess the effects of prolonged sitting among bank employees and school teachers. The results have confirmed the grim news: those with a family history of diabetes sitting for more than three hours a day were at a threefold risk of developing diabetes than those doing moderate physical activity .

The study had a sample size of 514 subjects (244 bank employees and 270 school teachers); it analysed factors such as body mass index, waist circumference, duration of physical activity , positive family history of diabetes and random blood glucose levels. "The main objective of the study was to define the word sedentary and analyse its role in increasing the risk of diabetes. Secondly , we also analysed the role of family history in it," said chief diabetologist Dr Vijay Viswanathan, who was part of the study .

Doctors concluded that those involved in some physical activity and sat less than three hours had less blood sugar, pressure and cholesterol levels. "Those who sat for less than three hours and had a family history of diabetes were at 16% risk, those in the second group were at 27% risk," said the doctor.

Bank employees are more prone to diabetes than teachers who at least stand or pace around classrooms, revealed the study . "This study applies to any profession similar to a job at the bank that requires being seated for a long period. The energy expenditure is very negligible in these people and all the carbohydrates are converted to fat and get deposited all over," said Dr Viswanathan. He added that such fat build-up, apart from causing insulin resistance, also causes polycystic ovaries in women and fatty liver diseases in men. We can't change our family history but we can find solutions to this sitting syndrome. "Employees should take steps like walking around the office and taking mobility breaks every few hours, while offices should take keen interest on their employees' health," said Dr Viswanathan.

If you cannot spare time for an hour in the gym or go for a run or a walk, then making certain changes in your work place or home could do the trick to keep lifestyle diseases at bay . Pace around the office; desire for a better health gives you the licence to fidget. Stand while talking on the phone, walk up to your colleague instead of emailing or phoning and walk those flights of stairs instead of taking the lift. At home, spare at least 15 minutes a day to perform yoga to stretch all the muscles in the body .

The study was published in the Journal of Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics.

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