Dr Zara Quail MBChB (UCT)
Health News

Get your move on! Just sitting around could get you in trouble.

Cardiometabolic syndrome (also known as metabolic syndrome or “Syndrome X”) is a cluster of conditions including resistance to insulin, increased abdominal girth, high triglyceride (“bad”) cholesterol, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol and high blood pressure. Together these increase your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. An analysis of studies has shown that people who spend a higher proportion of their time sitting (engaging in sedentary behaviour) have a greater risk of developing cardiometabolic syndrome.(1)

So, if you spend most of your day sitting, and would like to feel more energised as well as prevent cardiometabolic syndrome, get moving and active. If you don’t like the gym or a jog, go for a daily 30-minute, medium- to fast-paced walk somewhere friendly and safe, climb the stairs as often as you can, do your own house work, put on some tunes and work on some dance moves in the lounge or  go out dancing. If you are sitting most of the day, at risk for diabetes, and not getting much exercise, you need to do at least 30 minutes more of medium-paced, or 18 minutes more of intense paced exercise activity a day in order to reduce the risk.(2) Start slowly according to what you are comfortable with, and build up. Even better, get some help from your health professional or a qualified trainer to help you. Get your move on, get your groove on.


  1. Edwardson CL, Gorely T, Davies MJ et al. Association of sedentary behaviour with metabolic syndrome: a meta-analysis. PloS One . 2012;7(4):e34916. Epub 2012 Apr 13. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22514690)
  2. Hordern MD, Dunstan DW, Prins JB et al. Exercise prescription for patients with type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes: a position statement from Exercise and Sport Science Australia. J Sci Med Sport. 2012 Jan;15(1):25-31. Epub 2011 May 28.(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21621458)