x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Stand up for health

A small amount of regular exercise could prevent the onset of diabetes.

Almost one in five Emiratis is living with diabetes, so any news about prevention or treatment of this disease is very welcome.

And when the preventive measure is as simple as getting out of your chair, then that's a real bonus.

Physical inactivity has long been known to be a factor in diabetes but new research indicates that it's how you exercise that makes all the difference.

In a study of 70 healthy, normal-weight adults, a team from Otago University in New Zealand established that regular small bouts of physical activity after sitting will reduce glycaemia levels more effectively than one period of continuous activity.

For white-collar workers who are at risk of acquiring type-2 diabetes, that simply means that you should get up from your desk every half-hour, for a two- or three-minute walk around the office.

This advice shouldn't be limited to adult office workers; it could also prove helpful to the children and teenagers, many of whom spend a lot of hours seated in front of computers and game consoles.

Perhaps those gadgets should have built-in breaks that require a certain amount of body movement by the user before they start again.