In an experiment by scientists at the University of Massachusetts, a group of men was equipped with a 4-inch platform shoe to the right foot for two days. They used crutches to prevent the other foot from touching the ground and thus the leg to use any muscles. Just within 48 hours, the two legs differed in their gene expression, insulin production, metabolic activity, and oxidative stress level. Experiments with cats placed on back legs, showed changes of an enzyme that dissolves fat in the blood, potentially increasing risk of cardiac arrest and diabetes.
The National Cancer Institute followed 250,000 American healthy adults for eight years detailing their life style regarding hours spent on commuting, watching TV, sitting in front of the computer and exercising. Those most sedentary after 8 years became more ill and some even died. An Australian study at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, looked how small movements during working hours (2 min stroll every 20 min) improved insulin and blood sugar levels. Even standing for 2 min as opposed to just sitting had health benefits.
Obviously exercising can kill two birds with one stone: reduce your waistline and improve your health. If breaking a sweat and losing weight is not a priority, move around a tiny bit to at least help your health. Who knows, maybe it will help you to lose weight as well.
By Dorota Porazinska
Photo By jmsmytaste