Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sitting is a Risk Factor for Death

Spending Leisure Time

If you get home from work and want to plop down in a chair for the evening—think again.  You may want to take a break, but get moving again.  A study of more than 120,000 people found that those who spend at least 6 hours of their leisure time sitting died sooner than those who sat less than 3 hours.

People who sit a lot and exercise little are at even higher risk of death, and the effect is stronger for women than men.  The death rate was about 40% higher in women, and 20% higher in men.  The least active women were 94% more likely to die and the least active men were 48% more likely to die.  (100% would mean you were twice as likely to die.)

The study was conducted by the American Cancer Society over 14 years and looked at people 50-74 years old when the study began in 1992.  The main risk linked to sitting was heart disease.

“It is beneficial to encourage sedentary individuals to stand up and walk around as well as to reach optimal levels of physical activity,” according to the study’s authors.  The findings appear in the July 2010 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

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