Here is why you should read this article while you stand up. According to US researchers, sitting too long increases the risk of dying, even if you exercise. We have all heard the saying that sitting is the new smoking, but is it that bad?
When total sedentary time and sedentary duration are combined, they are associated with a higher risk of death, found the study.
Who risks a premature death?
The people who spend over 12.5 hours a day being sedentary and when they sit for more than ten minutes at a time.
But don’t rush to buy a standing desk just yet. The study agrees that it has several limitations – it monitored 8,000 participants of ages 45 and older, which means that they don’t represent too many age groups. The activity data was only collected for a week, which might not be representative of the activity levels in the study which followed the participants for four years.
Moreover, the device used to monitor activity was a hip-mounted accelerometer which measures physical activity but cannot distinguish between sitting and standing.
Nonetheless, the study shows that even though the participants were physically active, meeting the activity recommendations, if they are sedentary for a significant amount of the day, the risk of death is increased.
According to research in Australian adults, even if people were active for over 300 minutes per week, prolonged sitting also increased the risk of dying. The pattern was consistent in both sexes, different BMI categories, healthy or chronically ill participants.
What Should We Do?
The studies mentioned above suggest that sitting is independent of the physical activity, which is shocking news, considering that all the physical activity and its benefits are undone by too much sitting around!
But instead of being negative about the news, we should do something about it. Let’s get those 150 minutes of activity per week, and also remember to break up long periods of sitting and start walking around from time to time, standing or walking meetings during the office hours, taking the stairs and not the elevator, play with the kids and do some exercises while watching TV.
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere