THURSDAY, May 18, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Taking a short break from an active lifestyle may do more harm than most people might think, according to a study presented at the European Congress on Obesity, held from May 17 to 20 in Porto, Portugal.
Kelly Bowden-Davies, from the Institute of Aging and Chronic Disease at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom, and colleagues collected data on 28 healthy, physically active people, average age 25, with a normal body weight. The participants walked an average of 10,000 steps per day and all wore an armband that kept track of their physical activity. A reassessment followed two weeks later after the participants had reduced their physical activity by more than 80 percent, to around 1,500 steps per day.
The researchers found that after two weeks of a more sedentary routine, participants lost nearly a pound of lean muscle mass and gained body fat. The increase in body fat tended to accumulate centrally. Fitness levels dropped sharply, and participants were not able to run for as long or at the same intensity as they had before. Mitochondrial function also dropped, but the change was not statistically significant.
"In 14 days we see small, but significant, changes in markers that predispose people to risk," Bowden-Davies told HealthDay.
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