Sitting comfortably? Perhaps you push back your chair, move away from the computer, and stand up. Physiologists analyzing obesity, heart disease and diabetes found the act of sitting shuts down the circulation of the fat-absorbing enzyme lipase. This molecule is essential in the digestion, transport and processing of fats and cholesterol. So when we stand, lipase breaks down our fat, turning it into muscle. When we sit, lipase virtually shuts off.
“Chair time is an insidious hazard because people haven’t been told it’s a hazard,” says Marc Hamilton, a professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Missouri in Columbia.
Those who sit a lot tend to have rates of obesity, heart disease and diabetes that are at least twice as high as those who take the time to regularly stand up.