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Sitting found to contribute to kidney disease

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
September 28th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Sitting, along with other sedentary behavior has been linked to chronic diseases, such as type II diabetes. Researchers now say that sitting is linked to kidney disease - but they're not exactly sure why.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - British researchers found that people who spent the least amount of time sitting were also the least likely to have chronic kidney disease. These findings proved especially true for women who spent less than three hours a day seated, according to the study published in the American Journal of Kidney Disease.

Study co-author Thomas Yates, a researcher at the University of Leicester and the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust says it's not exactly clear why sitting is linked to kidney disease.

"Sitting jobs need to be broken up with periods of standing," Yates said. "As these findings start trickling down to the public consciousness, it is hoped it will affect occupational health considerations."

In a survey of 5,650 Britons, test subjects were asked questions pertaining to lifestyle factors such as smoking, exercise and sitting time. They also examined the study volunteers for signs of kidney disease.

Researchers found a link between hours spent sitting and kidney disease. Doctors took into account other factors such as smoking, age, gender, ethnicity, body-mass index, blood pressure, medications and hours spent exercising.

Researchers divided the volunteers into three groups: people who sat 8 to 24 hours a day were categorized as "high," those who sat 3.2 to 7.8 hours a day were considered "moderate" and those who sat 0 to 3 hours a day were categorized as "low."

Women with low amounts of sitting time had a 30 percent reduction in risk of kidney disease compared to those in the high risk category. Men who likewise spent little time sitting got a 20 percent reduction in risk compared to those who sat the most.

Exercise seemed to reduce -- but not eliminate, the heightened risk in couch potato men. Exercise did not appear to ameliorate the effects of sitting in women, though.

Kidney expert Dr. Jeffrey S. Berns, a professor of medicine at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine says not to quit your desk job straightaway. The study failed to prove that sitting actually caused the kidneys to become diseased.

"Someone who sits around and doesn't have risk factors for kidney disease shouldn't worry," Berns said. "While it's certainly plausible to think that sitting may contribute to diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure, it's much harder to come up with a way that inactivity could be a direct cause of kidney disease. The flip side of this is that people with chronic kidney disease are known to be less active. And my suspicion is that these results are confounded by that."

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