COLUMBIA, 12/14/11 (Beat Byte) -- For people with inactive lifestyles who nonetheless regularly exercise -- desk jockeys who visit the gym after work every night, for instance -- chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and a new epidemic -- fatty liver disease -- remain a serious threat, say University of Missouri researchers who point to caloric foods and hours of inactivity as modern-day scourges to healthy longevity.
“If people spend the majority of their time sitting, even with regular periods of exercise
, they are still at greater risk for chronic diseases
,” said John Thyfault
, Ph.D., assistant professor in the departments of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology and Internal Medicine.
The difference between activity (greater than 10,000 steps a day) and inactivity (fewer than 5,000 steps each day) has also led to a new epidemic, said fellow department assistant professor Scott Rector,
Ph.D. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
is now the most common chronic liver condition among U.S. adults, and occurs when excess fat accumulates in the liver. It contributes to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, and has even become more common in children.
“Everyone should try to take at least 10,000 steps a day,” Rector said. “It doesn’t have to happen all at once, but 500 to 1,000 steps every few hours is a good goal. Small changes can increase the number of steps people take in their daily routines. Changes might include taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to a coworker’s office rather than calling, or planning time for short walks throughout the day.”