Does being active help to protect your DNA?

A new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine reports that shortening the amount of time spent sitting could slow the aging process of DNA and increase your lifespan. Sitting is something that we all do all day long. Whether we are sitting in a classroom or at work, we have become more and more sedentary over time.

In this particular study, two groups were separated by activity level. All of the people in this group were over 60 years of age and led a sedentary lifestyle. The groups over a six-month exercise program and the other were allowed to do whatever they wanted. During this time, each participant was given a pedometer and how much time spent sitting each day was reported through surveys.

The researchers found out that sitting less had more of a positive impact to protecting DNA than increasing physical activity.

I find this to be very interesting because our lifestyle requires us to stay seated throughout the day. Many of us that stuck with desk jobs are required to sit and work. It is also true of our public schools. Should we give students and workers the options stand more often throughout the work or school day?

More studies are needed, but I think that we all need to be more proactive in avoiding to sit all day. It’s a little too easy to sit around all day, and this might be doing more damage to our bodies than we even realize.

Dr. Shah, MD