There's no magic bullet to good health — but research is showing that there's something that's pretty close. And it's something you've probably never heard of: an enzyme in the body called lipoprotein lipase.
Put simply, an enzyme is a naturally occurring chemical in the body that either speeds up or slows down something. Mark Hamilton, a microbiologist out of the University of Missouri, has done a lot of research on what is called the "physiology of inactivity." In other words, what is the science behind sitting? And what scientists have found is that lipase grabs fat and cholesterol from the blood, and then turns the fat into energy, while at the same time taking bad cholesterol and transforming it into good cholesterol.
So what's the problem? It's simple: sitting basically shuts down this response. When we sit, the body stops producing lipase. The implication being that if you sit, a crucial part of your body's metabolism slows down. And that leads to the crisis that we have in this country, with 47 million adults suffering from what we call metabolic syndrome, a causative factor for obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
In other words, this little enzyme called lipase is actually the fundamental issue behind what's wrong with prolonged sitting. It's the sinister, silent, lurking part of this problem that you unfortunately don't feel while you're doing it. You sit for a while and your back hurts and your shoulders feel sore, but you don't feel — in the moment, at least — the critical effects of the changes to body chemistry that begin to happen right away.
That's why breaking the cycle of prolonged sitting is so important. Always remember the 30-30 or 1-2 rule: sit 30 minutes, stand for 30 seconds; sit for an hour, stand for two minutes. Doing this activates muscle ... which produces lipase ... which pulls fat out of blood and changes bad cholesterol to good ... which helps you lose weight ... which helps you live longer.
It might not be a magic bullet, but we'll take it.
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