Taking a stand against chronic kidney disease

By Marilee Griffin • Published: December 7th, 2012
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Sitting has recently gotten a lot of bad press. The studies have been piling up: If you sit for more than three hours a day, you increase the risk of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, cancer and diabetes. It even makes your fat tissue … well, fatter.

The latest study shows that sitting can also increase the risk of chronic kidney disease. This occurs when your kidneys, which sift waste and extra water out of your blood, gradually cease to function. The CDC reports that 10 percent of adults in the U.S. have chronic kidney disease, with diabetes and high blood pressure being two main causes.

University of Leicester (Lester) researchers surveyed more than fifty-six hundred people, aged 40 to 75, to learn about their daily sitting and exercise habits. They found that those who spent less time sitting had a lower prevalence of chronic kidney disease, independent of other factors such as age and weight.

But the results varied by gender. Women who sat for three hours a day instead of eight reduced their risk of chronic kidney disease by 30 percent. Men in the same situation only reduced their risk by 20 percent. However, exercise reduced the risk of chronic kidney disease in men, even though it didn’t impact the risk for women.

So what can office workers do to sit less? Stand up during phone calls, walk to a coworker’s office instead of sending an email and set up hourly alerts to remind yourself to get up. If you’re feeling creative, try a walking meeting or suggest “office recess” to your boss. Some employees have even switched out their chairs for balance balls or have done away with the chair entirely for standing workstations. Even treadmill-desk hybrids are gaining popularity.

Whatever your method, reduce your risk of chronic kidney disease — and myriad other health issues — by being on the move.