Too Much Sitting a Precursor to Early Death

May 19, 2014

The ease that we get in our modern workdays is due to the technological and electronic advancements. Most of us spend more time sitting in front of a computer screen, lying on the couch watching TV or engage in other leisurely pursuits.  As such most of our activities do not require any effort but they have made our lives very sedentary. This kind of a behavior not only increases the risk of heart attacks, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes but also of obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Reduce the time sitting at work

Researchers say their findings have implications for office workers, truck drivers and even the elderly who sit for long duration of time. To reduce the risk of chronic disease, the study authors concluded that people should sit less and move more. They also believe in a feeling that a sense of purpose in our lives may help us livelong. It was specifically mentioned that women who spent more than 11 hours resting or sitting each day were at a 12 percent higher risk of dying early from any cause as compared to the women who spent four hours or less sitting each day.

A recent study has demonstrated associations of prolonged sitting time with premature mortality, chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, metabolic syndrome and obesity. In contrast, breaks in prolonged sitting time have been correlated with beneficial metabolic profiles among adults. It also suggests that frequent breaks in sedentary activity may explain lower health risk related to waist circumference, body mass index, triglyceride levels, and 2-hour plasma glucose levels.

In the contemporary work place, many workers spend more than half of their entire workday sitting. So in a way the work place represents a community venue for the promotion of physical activity and the reduction of sedentary time. Therefore off late, several attempts have been made to reduce sedentary behavior at work.

According to a report published in 2007 by the University of Missouri the people with highest levels of non-exercise activity burned significantly more calories as compared to a person who ran 35 miles a week but accumulated a moderate amount of non-exercise activity.  The same study estimates that reducing the average time we spend sitting down less than three hours a day could increase our life expectancy by two years.

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