Sitting makes people fat -- even those who work out a lot, says new study
Sitting down makes you fatter, no matter how many hours you log in the gym, new research suggests.
Up to 50% more fat is produced in parts of the body you put pressure on when you’re sitting or lying down, a study from Tel Aviv, published in the American Journal of Physiology, reports.
The research explained that preadipocyte cells turn into fat cells more rapidly during long periods of “mechanical stretching loads,” when weight is applied to body tissues by resting in one position for too long.
Researchers studied MRI images of muscle tissue in paraplegics and patients bound to beds or wheelchairs, and found that, over time, fat cells were increasing in parts of the body on which there was the most pressure.
Fat cells were tested in two groups: The test group underwent long periods of consistent stretching, to represent prolonged lounge sessions, while another, the control group, did not.
After two weeks of stretching, scientists discovered the group that received the mechanical stretching had developed 50% more fat.
Amit Gefen, a researcher in biomedical engineering at Tel Aviv University, said the fat accumulation isn’t a matter of dieting — you can’t change the cells.
“Obesity is more than just an imbalance of calories,” he said. “Cells themselves are also responsive to their mechanical environment. Fat cells produce more triglycerides [the major form of fat stored in the body], and at a faster rate, when exposed to static stretching.
“There are various ways that cells can sense mechanical loading. It appears that long periods of static mechanical loading and stretching, due to the weight of the body when sitting or lying, has an impact on increasing lipid [fat] production.”
Additionally, it raises you risk for CAD. Going to the gym for 2 hours a day is helpful in terms of risk, but it isn't as effective as someone who is active all day and exercises. The human body was just not meant to be stagnant. And, it definitely hasn't evolved to deal with the American diet.