Sitting May Be Hazardous to Your Health
- 12 Months ago
People sit while eating in the morning, and in their cars, going to work. In general, they sit most of the day at work or school and sit while coming home in the car at night. Finally, they sit in the evening watching TV, playing computer games, or surfing the Internet.
Researchers have found that people who sit at least half the time during the day - at work, home, or school - have a significantly increased risk of dying from any cause.
In the 12-year study, people who sat almost all the time had a 54% increased risk of dying compared to people who sat almost none of the time. This increased risk from long periods of sitting was independent of age, smoking, alcohol use, weight, and even exercise frequency, suggesting that sitting is hazardous to health and cannot be completely compensated for with a physical activity program.
How much do you sit during a typical day? It might take creative thinking and effort to sit less and be more active during the majority of your day - but it is recommended for best health.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Get up frequently at work to walk about when talking on the phone, thinking, discussing concepts with individuals, or taking a message to a colleague.
- Stand during meetings or when reading reports.
- Commute to work by walking, jogging, or riding your bicycle. Take public transportation and walk to and from the bus or train stop.
- Around home, work in the garden, go for a walk, and play active games (e.g., ping pong or jump rope).
For best health and longevity, maintain a normal body weight (being obese and sitting a lot had the highest mortality), get regular physical activity (30+ minutes, 5+ days each week), and limit the amount of time you sit every day.