Dutch scientists who studied 2 500 people, found that every extra hour a day spent in a sedentary position increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by more than a fifth. Picture: freeimages.com

London - The damage to your health from sitting at a desk all day cannot be undone by exercise, researchers have discovered.

A study found that the longer someone spends inactive, the more likely they are to develop type 2 diabetes.

Even doing regular intense gym workouts does not reduce the impact of too much sitting.

Dutch scientists who studied 2,500 people, found that every extra hour a day spent in a sedentary position increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by more than a fifth.

People in Britain spend an average of nine waking hours sitting or lying down each day – a trend replicated in the Dutch study.

Researchers used a wearable device that detects motion to track the movement of the volunteers, whose average age was 60. The results showed that those with type 2 diabetes were the least active, averaging an extra 26 minutes a day sitting.

The Maastricht University team, whose study is published in the journal Diabetologia, said their findings ‘may suggest that sedentary behaviour at least partly preceded type 2 diabetes’.

They added: ‘Even those who exercised were still much more likely to be diabetic if they also spent long periods of the day inactive.’

Lead researcher Julianne van der Berg said: ‘Our findings could have important implications for public health as they suggest that sedentary behaviour may play a significant role in the development and prevention of type 2 diabetes, independent of high-intensity physical activity.

‘Consideration should be given to including strategies to reduce the amount of sedentary time in diabetes prevention programmes.’

Daily Mail