Sitting down at a desk all day comes with a range of health risks, including hypertension, poor circulation, cardiovascular disease, high-blood pressure, and stress on your back and neck. Many people also find, especially if going from an active job to a sedentary desk job, that weight gain is common.
Now, a new study, published the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has revealed that sitting all day interferes with the body’s internal scale.
Swedish researchers discovered that the brain monitors and records body weight every time someone stands. If the brain senses weight gain, it will send the right signals to the body that stop overconsumption of calories.
Obsessing over your bathroom scale may be unnecessary, as your body naturally measures weight throughout the day.
However, the researchers also realized that this process is hindered by sitting all day, and so the brain doesn’t register weight the same way.
“We believe that the internal body scales give an inaccurately low measure when you sit down,” said Professor Claes Ohlsson, a member of the research team. “As a result you eat more and gain weight.”
For the study, the researchers used mice which also have an internal scale that made daily measurements of weight and weight gain.
Obese mice had weights attached to them and as this extra weight was recorded, the mice cut back on their food intake. The mice lost the same amount of weight as was added artificially.
The mice that lost weight also had lower body fat and better blood glucose levels.
The results of the study are promising, and the researchers hope that the findings may help with new treatments for unwanted weight gain.
“We have discovered a completely new system that regulates fat mass,” said Professor John-Olov Jansson, the study’s lead author. “We hope this discovery will lead to a new direction in obesity research.”