Sitting for a long time leads to early death

“Sitting is the new smoking,” is proved by a new study and an important risk factor for all causes of death. Many of you have sought out standing desks, fearful that a chair will only streak the end of your mortal existence. Beware, couch potatoes: The evidence is growing up that too much sitting can take a serious toll on your health.

Adults in the United States are inactive for 9 to 10 hours a day, that has lightened concern among health experts and generated a variety of potential strategies for diminishing the associated side effects.

A team of researchers studied nearly 8,000 black and white adults ages 45 and older and measured both their total and average lengths of desk-bound time.

The goal of our study was to determine what sitting habits are most hazardous: the numbers of hours in which a person sits overall in a day or sitting in really long, uninterrupted periods – said lead author Keith Diaz, an associate research scientist at Columbia University, told Courthouse News in an email.

Even if you are doing the recommended amount of moderate to vigorous exercise, you will still have a higher risk of mortality if you’re spending too many hours sitting. Each of these behaviors is important and has an independent effect on cardiovascular disease and mortality. – says Dr. JoAnn Manson, one of the study’s authors, and chief of preventive medicine at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Previous studies have ventured to measure the effect of sedentary time on negative health results, many depend on self-reported data. Diaz and his team used a hip-mounted accelerometer to objectively measure sessions of sitting. For the participants, sedentary time accounted for 12.3 hours a day over a 16-hour waking day. The average sedentary period was 11.4 minutes. In follow-ups performed over a median of four years. The team found that 340 participants had died.

We found that both habits, sitting for many hours in a day and sitting for long uninterrupted periods, were linked to an increased risk of death, regardless of whether a person exercised – Diaz said.

Those with greater sitting time had: A nearly 50% increased risk of death from any cause and about a 125% increased risk of events associated with cardiovascular disease, such as chest pain (angina) or heart attack.

The results of this study suggest that policy makers should be cautious about recommending sitting reductions without also recommending increases in physical activity.
But studies show that too much sitting raises possibility of death if you exercise or work-out daily.

One way to avoid prolonged sitting during the workday is to switch to a standing desk, or one that can adjust to sitting and standing positions. Some companies are promoting the usage of treadmills, which allow workers walk at a free pace while they type or answer the phone. However, these machines are not so affordable, and if you set the speed too high your legs will wear out.

Cheapest and no-cost solution is to set your smartphone timer to go off every 30 to 60 minutes during the day. When the alarm rings, “Stretch and move around the office to avoid any prolonged sitting at one time,” Dr. Manson recommends.

I think the key point to highlight is to move. The evidence for standing being a healthier alternative to sitting is not entirely convincing. So although standing desks are becoming more and more popular, until better scientific studies are published, I would encourage people who are concerned about their sedentary habits to take movement breaks as often as possible. – Diaz stated.

If you stand or actively move, you kick the processes back into action.


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