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||The biological mechanisms underlying the links between sedentary behaviors and disease.
||AM J EPIDEMIOL
||2011 Jun 1
||Evolution has provided humans with an exquisite ability to adapt physiologically to environmental conditions. We possess the ability to conserve energy in times of famine and to expend large amounts of energy in course of doing physical work/activity (e.g., to forage, flee, fight, or exercise). In the modern world, where environmental conditions encourage sedentary behaviors to predominate, higher levels of sedentary time (sitting) has a profound effect on overall physical activity energy expenditure, and thus energy balance and metabolic health. In contrast, active behaviors can be expected to exert many beneficial physiologic effects that are both acute and chronic in nature, and sensitive to the type, amount, and intensity of the activity in which we engage. These effects are wide ranging, including: enhanced glucose disposal, greater bone loading, and other orthostatic effects. This presentation will describe consequences of prolonged sedentary time on overall activity levels and examine the impact of these behaviors on a range of biological mechanisms linked to common diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease and cancer.