Study: Sitting for long period increases fatty liver disease risk

Research studies have been repeatedly suggesting strong connections between sedentary lifestyle as well as lethargic habits and a plethora of chronic disorders engulfing majority of the middle age population like diabetes mellitus, obesity, disorders of lipid states, cardiovascular diseases, malignancy and so on. But, this piece of news is sure to get the non-alcoholic lot of our technosavy generation baffled enough to get up from their seats and start being active. According to a recent study conducted by a group of research scientists, prolonged sitting time could predispose to the risk of Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

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Coming to the gist of it, NAFLD represents a spectrum of metabolic disorders that have in common the presence of hepatic steatosis in individuals who do not consume alcohol or do so in very small quantities(less than 20grams ethanol per week). It is the most common metabolic disorder associated with metabolic syndrome, type-2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, insulin unresponsiveness and hypertension.

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Although sedentary behaviour has been linked to a number of diseases, the association between physical activity and chronic diseases, including NAFLD, and even death is by and large yet to be thought about.

The most recent study was conducted on a group of 140,000 middle-aged Koreans. Each of them was examined by doctors from between March’11 to December’13 to find whether sedentary habits and physical inactivity were linked with NAFLD. The association between the observations and amount of body fat was also assessed. Ultrasonography was used to assess the liver status whilst leading questions determined the physical activeness and time of sitting. The results of this study were published in the Journal of Hepatology.


The results of the study suggested that:-

  • About 40,000 Koreans were found affected by NAFLD.
  • Predisposition to both long sitting hours and decreased physical activity levels were found to have positive links with increased prevalence of NAFLD.
  • The aforesaid associations were remarkable in subjects with a body mass index lesser than 23.

Leading research scientist, Seungho Ryu, eminent faculty of the Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine in South Korea quoted, “Our study discovered an independent positive connection between sitting time and physical inactivity with NAFLD in a large group sample of Middle-aged Koreans.” The findings of the study led to the conclusion that cutting down sedentary habits like sitting for long time and increasing the levels of physical activity are independently essential in minimising exposure to NAFLD and highlight the significance of decreasing sitting time in annexure to prolonging physical activity is what was said by co-author of the study, Yoosoo Chang, yet another faculty of the Sungkyunkwan University.

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As said by Michael I Trenell, professor of the Newcastle University at the United Kingdom, “Conclusions of the study directly indicate that our chairs which were supposedly invented to make us comfortable are deliberately and gradually going to terminate our functional existence. Our bodies were originally designed by the Almighty to function and it is not a sheer surprise that the sedentary lifestyle promoted by our generation is surely going to land vital aspects of the body like the liver in trouble. Diminished muscle performance is surely going to affect our natural physiology directly.”

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