Sitting can shorten your life
This month, three studies show that prolonged sitting is associated with 
increased risk for heart attacks and cancer. Heart Attacks: The Women's 
Health Initiative study shows that sitting for 10 hours per day increases 
a woman's chances of suffering a heart attack by 20 percent when compared 
to sitting for five hours per day (Journal of the American College of 
Cardiology, April 19, 2013, published online ahead of print). Those who 
sat for 10 hours per day and also had no exercise program had a 70 
percent increased risk. Being overweight further increased their chances 
of having a heart attack.

Cancer: The Southern Community Cohort Study showed that, compared to 
sitting less than 5.5 hours per day, sitting for 12 or more hours per day 
almost doubled breast cancer risk in white (but not black) women, (Cancer 
Prevention Research, April 13, 2013).

Survival from Cancer: Being overweight and not exercising increased risk 
for heart attacks, and disability in breast cancer survivors after 
treatment (Anticancer Research, April 2013; 33(4):1595-1602).

Why Prolonged Sitting Increases Attack Risk
A high rise in blood sugar after meals markedly increases risk for a 
heart attack and moving your muscles in any way helps to prevent blood 
sugar levels from rising too high. Every cell in your body is like a 
balloon full of fluid. A high rise in blood sugar causes sugar to stick 
to the outer surface of cell membranes. Once stuck there, sugar can never 
get off and is eventually converted to sorbitol which destroys the cell. 
This sticking of sugar on cell membranes damages the inner lining of 
arteries and is part of the process of forming plaques in arteries. You 
can have damaging high rises in blood sugar even if you are not diabetic.

Contracting Muscles Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Resting muscles remove virtually no sugar from the bloodstream. However, 
contracting muscles remove sugar from the bloodstream at a rapid rate 
and don't even need insulin to do this. This effect is maximal during 
vigorous exercise and continues at a high level for up to an hour after 
you finish and then tapers off to almost no effect after about 17 hours.

To prevent high rises in blood sugar, you need to keep contracting your 
muscles. People who sit around all day long can expect to have higher 
blood sugar levels after they eat. Other factors that raise blood sugar 
levels include:
Being overweight. Fat blocks insulin receptors.
Eating or drinking sugars and refined carbohydrates: all sugared drinks, 
all foods with added sugars, and foods made from flour such as bakery 
products and pastas.
Eating red meat (saturated fat in red meat blocks insulin receptors). 

Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health e-Zine