The next time a skeptic asks you if sitting disease is “really a thing” or when you’re trying to convince a friend to adopt a less sedentary lifestyle, you’ll want to be armed with some cold, hard facts. Hello, Science! In this post, we’re going to focus specifically on just one of the many dangers of sitting disease: Lipoprotein lipase suppression.
Lipoprotein lipase target (aka LPL) is “an enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolytic cleavage of fatty acids from triglycerides (or di- or monoglycerides) in chylomicrons, very-low-density lipoproteins, and low-density lipoproteins.” In regular English – LPL helps your body use fat or triglycerides for energy (It helps you burn fat).
According to health researchers Sara Rosencranz, Ph.D., and Richard Rosenkranz, Ph.D., prolonged sitting shuts off LPL, “… basically telling our bodies to shut down the processes that help to stimulate metabolism throughout the day, and that is not good.” Sara Rosencranz notes that, “Just by breaking up your sedentary time, we can actually upregulate that process in the body.”
With a deficiency of lipoprotein lipase, fatty deposits might accumulate in the blood, which could lead to atherosclerosis and obesity. So, not only does putting the brakes on your fat metabolism have an effect on your body weight and appearance, LPL suppression will also affect the cholesterol levels in your bloodstream and your cardiovascular health. Furthermore, excess body fat (especially around the middle) leads to an increased risk for Type II Diabetes – a dangerous and rapidly increasing diagnosis in America today. So, to summarize: Prolonged sitting causes LPL suppression. LPL suppression shuts down fat metabolism, which can lead to high cholesterol, obesity, heart trouble, and diabetes.
The best way to attack sitting disease is in two stages: First, simply break up your sitting time by standing up at your desk more often. Second, incorporate more movement into your daily routine. Movement doesn’t necessarily have to mean vigorous activities like running or lifting weights, even moderate activity like walking, climbing stairs, and performing daily chores will do the trick.