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Sitting down? Stand Up For Your Health!

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Sitting down? Stand Up For Your Health!

More research shows that settling into a sedentary lifestyle can have negative impacts on your health.

How did you get to work today? How do you spend your time at work? What will you do in your leisure time?

Take a close look at your activity levels throughout your day; an inactive lifestyle—especially one that involves too much sitting—may lead to negative health issues down the road. What’s more, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal, the amount of time we spend sitting in our daily lives could have an impact on our life expectancy.

The study

The study looked at patterns of sitting and watching television among Americans as reported in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Results from the study showed that reducing sitting to fewer than three hours a day could increase life expectancy by two years. Also, reducing excessive television viewing to fewer than two hours a day could result in a gain of 1.38 years.

As reported in a BBC article, however, the study is a very broad analysis of almost 167,000 people and doesn’t take into account individual health concerns. Therefore, the numbers refer to general populations and it would be difficult to correlate specific amounts of time spent sitting to number of years living.

Still there is a growing body of research that shows too much time sitting may be unhealthy.

Risky business

A previous study from Australia that looked at the television viewing habits of 8,000 adults found that those who watched more than four hours of television a day were 46 percent more likely to die earlier than those who watched fewer than two hours a day. Those who watched more television were also 80 percent more likely to die specifically of cardiovascular disease.

The problem is that prolonged sitting leaves the whole body inactive. Scientists have linked excessive sitting to obesity, diabetes, certain types of cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

Find ways to break the chair routine

At work

Commuting

  • ditch the car (It may be what’s driving you crazy!)
  • walk
  • run
  • bike
  • transit—even walking to the bus stop can provide some relief from sitting!

At home


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