Now with the Coronavirus lockdown in place, many of us are at home, sitting in one place either watching TV or working all day. This is not good for you especially if you have type 2 diabetes running in the family.
How Does Sedentary Lifestyles Increase Risks of Type 2 Diabetes?
It is true and Type two diabetes can be hereditary but if you make bad lifestyle choices you can, in a way, pass it on to your children. Bad lifestyle choices can alter your DNA which you can pass on to your offsprings. This concept is called epigenetics.
Though your genetics may have a role in your chances of getting Type 2 diabetes, nevertheless, the main factors that may cause diabetes are:
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Poor dietary choices
- Drinking alcohol
- Not exercising
To What Extent Is A Sedentary Lifestyle Responsible For Diabetes?
Research shows that a sedentary lifestyle is a primary reason for type two diabetes. You may take out half an hour to 1 hour every day to exercise or take a walk but, if you are sitting for more than 4 hours a day, you increase your chances of type two diabetes.
In fact, more than 18 studies have shown similar results. Scientists are not sure how a sedentary lifestyle impacts your chances of getting type 2 diabetes, however, it may be because sitting down for long hours every day makes it difficult for our body to produce insulin and absorb sugar.
Sitting for more than 6 hours at a time increases the risk of cancer for the same reasons.
Who Is At A Greater Risk?
Studies show that the number of men with type 2 diabetes from a sedentary lifestyle is much higher than women. However, this may not mean that men are predisposed to the condition. It may simply mean that men are more likely to have a sedentary lifestyle.
Due to gender norms and beliefs, women are more likely to do household chores when they are at home when compared to men. Being up on their feet and doing household chores decreases their chances of getting T2 diabetes.
Certain races are also at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes – this includes Asian, South Asian and Hispanic groups
Those who had gestational diabetes may get type 2 diabetes within 5-10 years of giving birth to their child. Their children are also at a greater risk of getting diabetes as they grow older. While sedentary lifestyle affects everyone, it has a higher risk for these specific groups of people.
Other Factors Contributing To Type Two Diabetes?
As we said earlier, poor dietary habits, drinking/smoking, not exercising, further magnifies your chances of getting diabetes. So if you are in front of the TV munching chips and sipping coke you are far more likely to get type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes does not occur overnight. In most cases, young adults with a sedentary lifestyle tend to get diabetes in their mid-40s. But fear not, there are ways to reduce your chances of getting diabetes. If you have recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you can reverse it if you work hard.
How To Prevent Type 2 Diabetes?
We understand that most types of jobs require you to sit for long hours on a desk, in front of the computer. While it is inevitable, you can reduce your risks by getting up every half hour and walking slowly for 5 minutes. You can set an alarm that rings every thirty minutes to remind yourself to move.
You can also arrange for a higher table or fix a laptop stand on the wall so that you can stand and work for short periods of time. Don’t let work be an excuse for a sedentary lifestyle because there is always a way to get healthier.
Doing age-appropriate exercises for 30 minutes to 1 hour every day, with the right footwear, is important but if you are sedentary otherwise, you can still get diabetes. Hence, you must remind yourself to get up and move throughout the day.
Cut Down On Sugars
Stay away from sugars as much as you can. While you should ween yourself off of simple carbs and processed sugars in fizzy drinks, white flour, salad dressings, sweets etc, you should actively reduce table sugar as well. Yes, it may seem difficult at first but, it is not impossible.
Within the first few days of reducing table sugar, you will immediately start to notice changes in your weight. The first few weeks are difficult because your body may exhibit withdrawal but if you push through, you will come out stronger.
Reduce Smoking And Alcohol Consumption
While you can reduce alcoholic beverages to only 1 drink a day (2 drink a day if you are a man) smoking should be a strict no go. Smoking increases your chances of getting diabetes by 40-60%, this, combined with a sedentary lifestyle is a deadly combination.
If you want to have a healthier future, you must act today and reduce smoking to nothing.
Sitting down in front of the screen all day may seem harmless but it is perhaps what is destroying you from inside. The human race was designed to lay down, stand and run, but never to sit. This is why it is very important for us to get off those sofa cushions and become active!