Planning on binge watching “The Walking Dead” or “House of Cards” this weekend? You’ll want to read this first.
Every hour spent on the couch watching TV raises the risk of type 2 diabetes by 3.4% for those with pre-diabetes (the precursor to diabetes), according to a new study published in the journal Diabetologia.
Between sitting at work and in front of the TV, the researchers totaled the number of hours more than 3,200 overweight, at-risk adults spent being sedentary each day and found that couch potatoes had an increased risk of developing full-blown type 2 diabetes — regardless of whether they were already taking prescription drugs for the condition or were eating a healthy diet and working out.
This just adds to the myriad studies showing that sitting is, well, deadly. A 2012 study found that adults who sit for 11 or more hours each day have a 40% higher risk of dying in the next 3 years compared to people who sit less than 4 hours a day. Although 11 hours may sound like a lot, if you think about your commute, time spent sitting at your desk or in meetings at work, and couch potato time watching TV after work and on weekends, it adds up quickly.
In fact, the average adult spends a shocking 90% of their leisure time sitting. Exercising more often does help, but it’s also important to focus on simply sitting less. A UT Southwestern study found that standing up and moving around more during the work day, as well as limiting couch time at night, can reduce your chances of dying early from heart disease.
“We found that when sitting for prolonged periods of time, any movement is good movement, and was also associated with better fitness,” study author Jacquelyn Kulinski, MD, said in a release. “So if you are stuck at your desk for a while, shift positions frequently, get up and stretch in the middle of a thought, pace while on a phone call, or even fidget.” The good news: Fidgeting will come easy while watching those gory scenes in The Walking Dead.