One major cause, as well as result, of acne is chronic or increased inflammation. A study from 2014 showed certain types of cells related to acne mechanisms either worsen the body’s inflammation (1) reaction or actually initiate this response. It seems that sitting for extended amounts of time can also cause an inflammatory response in the body.
As technology increases people spend more time sitting, both out of desire and necessity. A large majority of individuals have jobs that force them to sit at a computer desk for prolonged periods of time. Many individuals have several devices on which they entertain themselves once they leave work. This extensive amount of prolonged sitting can lead to several health complications.
The inflammatory response is not simply due to sitting at a desk. A study was conducted involving self-reported sitting times to investigate how this related to chronic inflammation. The analyses revealed that sitting times were linked to low grade, chronic inflammation (2) as well as a decline of metabolic health specifically for females. This was determined separate from their levels of physical activity. Some of the markers affected for sitting times of more than 6 hours each day included interleukin-6, C-reactive protein, and fasting insulin.
Another investigation found that these markers were increased in both genders (3) who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. A reduction in time spent sedentary improved C-reactive protein levels in female subjects only. Men and women once again showed an increase of C-reactive protein which was related to prolonged times spent sitting in a third study.
C-reactive protein is a key marker which medical professionals use to measure levels of inflammation. This is due to the fact that this marker increases as a direct reaction to inflammation. Interleukin 6 assists in regulating neural, regenerative, and metabolic mechanisms as well as is concerned with infection and inflammation reactions. These finding show that extended times of remaining sedentary are linked to the development of acne.
Taking breaks to stand up and walk even a small amount during extended sitting times has been shown to reduce (5) sugar levels as well as insulin. These results were for overweight as well as obese individuals. The chronic inflammation incites oxidative stress (6) which is also a key factor in acne (7). Both chronic inflammation and oxidative stress are linked not only to acne, but many serious diseases (8) such as:
- Cardiovascular Disorders
- Autoimmune Diseases
- Gastrointestinal Disorders (9)
- Neurodegenerative Diseases (10)
Break the Cycle
In light of these findings, extended periods of sitting can result in many health related complications including acne which seems to be an indicator of the development of more serious conditions down the road. Most of these findings also indicate that this is not simply a matter of sedentary versus hard core gym life. The key is to create timed breaks during sitting periods to stand, stretch, and at least walk about a bit. Implementing these interruptions during sitting times can not only reduce acne flare ups, but decrease risks of several complicated negative health conditions.