Several studies have proven the damaging impact sedentary lifestyles have on our health, causing an increased risk of developing cancer, heart disease and diabetes.  A new study found it also contributes to to kidney disease. The harmful impact of a sedentary life has been repeatedly proven. We already know that sitting is killing us. People with sedentary lifestyles are at a have a higher risk of cancer, are more likely to die of cardiovascular disease and are 90 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than their less sedentary counterparts. Now we can add kidney disease to the list of ways our desk jobs may be eroding our health.

This current study was conducted by researchers at the University of Utah School of Medicine, distinguished between sedentary behavior and physical inactivity. Sedentary behavior means spending a lot of time sitting or lying down, with energy expenditure at the same levels as when you are asleep or resting. Physical inactivity means a lack of vigorous activity. The study, which looked at 5,873 adults with a variety of health backgrounds, assumed the average person is awake for 16 hours a day. The researchers found that each 80 minutes/day increase in sedentary duration was associated with a 20% increased likelihood of chronic kidney disease. This association was independent of moderate/vigorous physical activity duration, demographics, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, lung disease and mobility limitations. Moreover, this association persisted even after adjusting for type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and obesity

It will be presented at a meeting of the American Society of Nephrology from November 3 to 8, found that for every additional 80 minutes a person spent sitting per day (compared to the mean), their likelihood of developing chronic kidney disease rose by 20 percent.

Sitting for too long during the day may be a risk factor for chronic kidney disease, according to a study that will be presented at ASN Kidney Week 2015. Kidney disease afflicts ten per cent of adults in the United States, more than 20 million people nationally.

The researchers define sedentary behavior as engaging in activities in the seated or lying position that barely raise the energy expenditure above resting level, and said that it is commonly confused with physical inactivity, which is a lack of moderate/vigorous physical activity. What’s more, that risk increase persisted regardless of whether a person added moderate or vigorous exercise to their day. As long as they were sitting for a substantial amount of time, their risk for kidney disease rose and rose.

This is not the first study to link sitting time to kidney disease, but it does paint a bleaker picture about the irrelevance of physical activity to reducing a sedentary person’s risk. A study published in 2012 found that both sedentary men and women were at significantly higher risk of developing kidney disease, but that men with a high level of physical activity during nonsitting hours could reduce their risk reduce their risk. Women, however, could not. But Beddhu’s study showed no significant difference at all.

“Sedentary behavior, which is not mere lack of moderate/vigorous physical activity, is likely an independent risk factor for chronic kidney disease,” Srini Beddhu, a doctor at the University of Utah School of Medicine and an author on the study said in a statement. He added that it remains to be seen whether sitting also changes how chronic kidney disease progresses, and whether or not it can contribute to the disease developing into a more severe form of the illness known as “end stage renal disease.” That’s when your kidneys cease functioning well enough to adequately remove waste and excess water from your system.

“Hence, interventions targeting sedentary behavior to slow the progression of chronic kidney disease need to be conducted,” he said.

Kidney disease affects approximately 40 per cent of people with diabetes and is one of the diseases’ most common complications. It’s critical for diabetics to reduce their risk of kidney disease. According to this study, having a physically active lifestyle is one way to do that. Exercise improves blood glucose control and reduces the risk of developing heart disease.


Studies: “Sedentary Behavior as a Risk Factor for CKD” (Abstract FR-OR112)