Summary: More sitting leads to health problems that cannot be undone with a pre-work visit to the gym. Our bodies crave movement at the cellular level. TrekDesk helps employees stay healthy by moving through the day.
A study published this week in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academies of Science” has found sitting for prolonged periods reduces the amount of cellular mitochondria and warns of its ill health effects on individuals. TrekDesk treadmill desks may represent a response to reverse the process, allowing employees the opportunity to walk slowly while they work, restoring health and boosting mood and productivity.
The study found that two genes are directly associated with a protein referred to as AMP-activate protein kinase (AMPK). Amp is involved in a variety of beneficial processes in the body and is turned on when the body is in motion. Conversely, inactivity shuts off AMPK causing long term ill health effects.
Sedentary lifestyles, the researchers found, actually make normal AMPK defective resulting in lowered levels of mitochondria in the muscles. This lowers the muscle cells’ ability to burn sugars for energy and results in a multitude of health problems over time including diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
Previous studies have shown that increased levels of exercise, such as walking, increase the number of mitochondria in the cells. "When you exercise, you get more mitochondria growing in your muscle. If you don't exercise, the number of mitochondria goes down," stated researcher Gregory Steinberg of McMaster University.
Apparently inactivity is self perpetuating, the more we sit the harder it becomes to restore health. The study has serious implications for employers and employees in sedentary occupations alike. "As we remove activity from our lives due to emerging technology, the base level of fitness in the population is going down and that is reducing the mitochondria in people's muscles. This, in turn, makes it so much harder for people to start exercising, " according to Steinberg.
“We have already learned that you cannot undo the ill effects of sitting through exercise before or after work. This study shows that our bodies need to be in motion through out most of the day and that more sitting leads to more poor health consequences,” stated Steve Bordley, CEO of TrekDesk Treadmill Desks.