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The Consequences of Prolonged Sitting

A recent study1 found that 4 days of prolonged sitting for 13 hours/day and activity of less than 4,000 steps can lead to a new state called “exercise resistance.” The volunteers were asked to walk for one hour after the 4 days, and then fed high-fat and high-sugar ice cream and half and half creamer. The investigators did not observe any changes to the volunteers’ insulin sensitivity or glucose tolerance. Drawing from the results of another study, the investigators hypothesized that the enzymes may have changed as a result of the prolonged inactivity. Thus, they concluded that: “Those who sit the most benefit the least from a given amount of exercise.”1 Even during the busiest of times, it is prudent to recommend to clients that they include bouts of activity throughout the day to total 8,000 – 10,000 steps per day, to ward off the onset of the exercise resistance. 


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