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Prolonged Sitting Responsible for 433,000 deaths per year? Read on…

By Marcus Santer

Image by Jonty Clark

Image by Jonty Clark

Sitting down disease…

Sedentary lifestyle…

Sitting is killing you…

Sitting is the new smoking…

Just a few headlines that pop up when you look at the subject of sitting down.

Now because my work involves a lot of sitting down, I like to keep an eye on the studies covering this subject.

And I’m not alone.

When looking for an answer to the question:

“How many hours a day does the average person sit for?”

You’ll get answers ranging from 7.7 hours to 13 hours.

I even found one article written in 2010 claiming Britons spend over 14 hours a day sitting.

Which seems hard to swallow.

I mean, if you’re sleeping for 7 to 9 hours and sitting for 14 hours that means you’re only upright for between 1 and 3 hours a day.

Seriously?

Anyway I recently came across this study titled: All Cause Mortality Attributable to Sitting Time in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine

The aim of the study?

Well, whilst there seems to be a link between increased sitting time and death less is known about the gains to be made in life expectancy by getting rid of this risk.

The researchers of this study gathered data from:

They then went on to work out the risk associated with sitting for more than 3 hours a day for each country and the increase of life expectancy by getting rid of this 3+ hours of sitting time.

Their results?

Here’s a quote from lead investigator Leandro Rezende, MSc, Dept of Preventive Medicine University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine:

“Although sitting time represents a smaller impact compared with other risk factors, reducing sitting time might be an important aspect for active lifestyle promotion, especially among people with lower physical activity along the continuum to higher physical activity levels.”

So what can you do?

My favourite way to overcome long periods of sitting is to break them up.

Every 30 minutes my timer goes off, reminding me to move.

And I do anything from:

Pretty much anything that breaks up a long period of sitting.

It’s also the reason why I continue to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day – in spite of the evidence showing it has questionable health benefits – because it means I have to get up and go to the toilet frequently.

Anyway, the science is pretty compelling…

Long periods of sitting down are hazardous to your health.

So don’t do it.

Oh and for 9 other things you could do every day to look and feel better read this.

Bye for now

Marcus