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  • Dr. Laura Wyness

Move more and sit less, for a healthy liver!

Keeping active and exercising regularly can have a huge benefit to your overall health and your liver by reducing the build-up of fats and therefore helping to lessen the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and prevent fatty liver disease.

The UK guidelines for adults is to do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, such as riding a bike, hiking or playing doubles tennis, and reduce the amount of sedentary time. It is thought that when we sit for long periods of time, our metabolism slows down. This has an adverse effect on our body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat.

Office Worker Sitting at his desk

Sedentary time includes the time we spend working at a desk, watching TV, eating, reading and travelling by bus, train or car. Many adults in the UK spend more than 7 hours a day sitting down or reclining. A recent study published by researchers from the University of Edinburgh found that middle-aged men (45-54 years old) spend on average 7.8 hours per weekday sitting down. This was more than the 7.4 hours that adults aged over 75 years old were reported to be sedentary. The researchers, who analysed data from over 14,000 people in Scotland, suggested that changing habits in the workplace could be a great place to start to make positive changes.

Here are some suggestions on how to be less sedentary at work:

  • - Set a reminder on your phone to get up every 30 minutes for a short walk or burst of activity.

  • - Take the stairs and walk up escalators.

  • - Place a laptop on a box or similar so that you can work whilst standing up.

  • - Have a walking meeting with a colleague

  • - Walk around the building whenever you get up to get a drink or go to the toilet.

  • - Refill your water bottle from the furthest away water fountain.

  • - Get a step counter to ensure you’re walking at least 10,000 steps a day. You could set a ‘step count’ challenge with some colleagues to encourage each other to keep active.

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