Sitting Time Linked to Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease risk associated with sitting time and physical activity

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) Kidney disease is a growing health problem around the world. People's lifestyle habits - such as a lack of exercise and too much sitting - may play a role in this problem.

People who exercise more and spend less time sitting may have a lower risk of chronic kidney disease.

"Stay active to protect against kidney disease."

Past studies have suggested that people who sit for long periods of time every day have a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease. Now, research by Thomas Yates, PhD, of the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, and colleagues has suggested that inactivity may also boost the risk of kidney disease.

The researchers found that both higher levels of physical activity and lower levels of sitting time were associated with a lower risk of kidney disease, independent of other risk factors.

That is, more exercise alone or less sitting alone may reduce the risk of kidney disease.

Specifically, lower levels of sitting time were associated with a lower risk of kidney disease, with an odds ratio of 0.74.

The benefits of more exercise and less sitting were different between sexes. While sitting time was more important for women, exercise was more important for men.

More specifically, results showed that women who spent more time sitting had a higher risk of kidney disease than men who spent more time sitting, while men with high levels of physical activity had a lower risk of kidney disease than women with high levels of physical activity.

"Prolonged sitting is also an independent risk factor linked to a higher risk of death," said Diane Shiao, PT, MSPT, DPT of Revive Physical Therapy and Wellness in Edison, New Jersey.

"Make sure if you have a sedentary job not to go home and plop on the coach or in front of the computer again. Throughout the day, get up from the chair, stretch, march in place, and walk around," said Dr. Shiao, who was not involved in the study.

For their study, the researchers gave more than 6,000 people a questionnaire asking about sitting time and physical activity. Like many previous studies, the results suggested that staying active is good for your health.

The results were published June 21 in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, an official journal of the National Kidney Foundation. 

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
October 3, 2012
Last Updated:
October 6, 2012