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NewsBites December 2018 Issue

Too Much Sitting at Home Linked to Risk of Death

sitting chair

Image Blankstock | Getty Images

Limiting leisure-time sitting may prolong life.

A recent review of prospective data published in the American Journal of Epidemiology provides one more excellent reason to get up and get moving. The study analyzed data from over 127,000 American men and women with a median age of around 20 years and followed up for 21 years. All participants were free of major chronic disease at the start of the study. Compared to “leisure-time” sitting (for example, watching television) of less than three hours a day, prolonged leisure-time sitting (six or more hours a day) was associated with higher risk of death from diabetes, kidney disease, suicide, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, liver and other digestive diseases, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and musclo-skeletal disorders, in addition to cardiovascular disease and cancer. Sitting time at work was not analyzed in this study. Links between leisure-time sitting and mortality were stronger in people with diabetes, and weaker in people who exercised regularly or who were retired.

Limiting television, video-game, computer, and even reading time to a few hours per day and instead walking, biking, participating in an enjoyable active hobby, or visiting a gym could provide health benefits.

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