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SNR #95: Dr. James Levine – Physiological & Psychological Effects of Chronic Sitting & Low NEAT

In Podcasts by Danny Lennon6 Comments

Episode 95:Dr. James Levine from the Mayo Clinic is on the show to discuss the effect of chronic sitting on the risk of blood sugar dysregulation, fat gain, obesity, neurological issues, productivity and general well-being.

Quote of The Episode:

“Within 2 minutes of getting up, on a fundamental cellular level, your body is changing.”        tweet-this_button

Guest Bio

James A. Levine, M.D., Ph.D

Having trained in clinical nutrition as a scholar at the University of Cambridge, James A. Levine, M.D., Ph.D., has dedicated his scientific career to promoting health in adults and children through education and innovation. Dr. Levine currently serves as a principal investigator for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Through three decades of research funded by the NIH, Dr. Levine’s team has pioneered the science of nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) and harm associated with sedentariness. Low NEAT and sedentariness are major causes of obesity, diabetes, breast cancer, and two dozen other chronic disease and conditions. This work, published in journals such as Science and Nature, has resulted in broad societal impact and policy change.

Dr. Levine is a world authority on obesity, serving as a named expert at the United Nations, an invitee to the President’s Cancer Panel, and a consultant to governments internationally. He is the Dr. Richard F. Emslander Professor of Endocrinology and Nutrition Research at Mayo Clinic. He holds five tenured professorships at ASU, is the Dean’s Distinguished Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, and the Regents Professor at Umea University, Sweden. He also serves as the co-director of Obesity Solutions, a collaboration between Mayo Clinic and ASU, and is the international director of Obesity Solutions’ sister center in Sweden.

In this episode we discuss:

  • What happens on a physiological level when we go from sitting to standing/walking?
  • The power of non-exercise activity thermogenesis
  • Inter-individual variability in body composition response to a given dietary intervention
  • Chronic sitting and risk of developing chronic diseases
  • How less sitting can improve psychological health, creativity and productivity
  • How to practically implement in your lifestyle
  • Bringing it to the mainstream: schools and offices

Links & Resources:

Dr. Levine’s Bio

Get Up!: Why Your Chair is Killing You and What You Can Do About It

Nonexercise activity thermogenesis in obesity management – Villablanca et al.

Lethal Sitting: Homo Sedentarius Seeks Answers – Levine 2014

Reducing children’s classroom sitting time using sit-to-stand desks: findings from pilot studies in UK and Australian primary schools

Avoiding sedentary behaviour might lengthen telomeres: secondary outcomes from a physical activity RCT in older people – Sjögren et al.

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You might also enjoy these:

SNR #88: Kevin Hall, PhD – The Physiology of Fat Loss, Weight Regain & Carb or Fat Restriction?

SNR #77: James Krieger – The Data Behind NEAT, Gluten & Reporting of Dietary Intake

SNR #69: Dr. Brian Wansink – Mindless Eating, Food Behaviour & How To Design Your Food Environment


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