Stand Up, Sit Less, Move More, More Often - A New Exercise Prescription and Its Relevance to Menopausal Health (#96)
In contemporary society, prolonged sitting has been engineered into our lives across many settings, including transportation, the workplace, and the home. There is new evidence that too much sitting (also known as sedentary behavior – which involves very low energy expenditure, such as television viewing and desk-bound work) is adversely associated with health outcomes, including cardio-metabolic risk biomarkers, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and premature mortality. Besides the decreased energy metabolism of sitting compared with light-intensity activity, sitting may also be harmful because of the prolonged absence of muscle contractile activity in the lower limbs. Importantly, these detrimental associations remain even after accounting for time spent in leisure time physical activity. This presentation will provide an overview of recent evidence from epidemiological and experimental studies. This new evidence is beginning to make a persuasive case that too much sitting should now be considered as a potential new element of physical activity and health recommendations – particularly for reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Findings from the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab) have shown prolonged TV viewing time to be related to biological markers of diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk, which were much stronger for women than for men. New AusDiab findings specifically in the context of menopausal health will be highlighted, showing relationships of sedentary time with risk biomarkers across the menopause transition. Future directions for this research and the practical implications of focusing on too much sitting as a modifiable health risk in mid-age and older women will be outlined.