Can Sitting Less Lead to Longer Lives?
A new study from Swedish researchers says the answer to that question is yes. According to the study, standing more or being active actually helps lengthen DNA, which keeps us alive longer.
The ends of your chromosomes (which are part of DNA) are protected by telomeres. Telomeres act like the plastic casing on the end of shoelaces, protecting your chromosomes and leading to longer cell life. Over the lifespan of a chromosome, the telomeres continue to shrink until they can’t shrink anymore, causing cells to die.
According to the study, people who spend too much time sitting increase the shrinking of the telomeres, thus shortening their lifespans. While these results have only been proven on a small scale, researchers continue to work on providing more concrete proof, and telomeres are drawing more and more interest.
For now, doctors can’t quite determine what about sitting shortens telomeres, but they can agree that a correlation between too much time on the couch and shortened telomeres exists.
So if you weren’t already convinced that an active lifestyle is key to a longer, healthier life, more proof keeps stacking up every day. If you’re interested in learning more about the study, you can read the results in full on the British Journal of Sports Medicine.