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Study: The longer you sit, the shorter your life

By Amanda Gardner, HealthDay
The more Americans engage in one of their favorite pastimes — sitting around — the shorter their average life span, a new study suggests.
The effect remained even after researchers factored out obesity or the level of daily physical activity people were engaged in, according to a study of more than 120,000 American adults.

Q&A: How to move while at work

It's just one more reason to "get up and walk," said Dr. Jay Brooks, chairman of hematology/oncology at Ochsner Health System in Baton Rouge "The message here is like everything in your life. People need to recognize that the things you do every day have consequences. And if you're in a job that does require sitting, that's fine, but any time you can expend energy is good. That's the key."

The salutary effect of exercise on being overweight or obese, rates of which are at an all-time high, have been well documented.

But according to background information in the study, which is published online July 22 in the American Journal of Epidemiology, the effects of sitting per se are less well-studied. Although several studies have found a link between sitting time and obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease risk, and unhealthy diets in children, few had examined sitting and "total mortality," researchers noted.

The authors of the study analyzed responses from questionnaires filled out by 123,216 people (53,440 men and 69,776 women) with no history of disease who were participating in the Cancer Prevention II study conducted by the American Cancer Society.

Participants were followed for 14 years, from 1993 to 2006.

In the study, people were more likely to die of heart disease than cancer. After adjusting for a number of risk factors, including body mass index (BMI) and smoking, women who spent six hours a day sitting had a 37% increased risk of dying versus those who spent less than three hours a day on their bottoms. For men the increased risk was 17%.

Exercise, even a little per day, did tend to lower the mortality risk tied to sitting, the team noted. However, sitting's influence on death risk remained significant even when activity was factored in.

On the other hand, people who sat a lot and did not exercise or stay active had an even higher mortality risk: 94% for women and 48% for men.

Study lead author Dr. Alpa Patel, an epidemiologist with the American Cancer Society, said that the obvious reason for the connection is that "the more time you spend sitting, the less total energy expended and you can have consequences such as weight gain and increased obesity." And that affects your metabolism as well as risk factors for various diseases, she said.

But there could be other biological factors beyond simply getting fatter that explain the link.

There's a burgeoning literature evolving around "inactivity physiology," Patel said. When muscles, especially those in the legs, are "sitting," they stimulate or suppress various hormones which then affect triglycerides, cholesterol and other markers for heart and other diseases, she explained.

5 Responses
1301089 tn?1290670171
Oh great!  I'm not overweight but as a chronic pain patient, many days it hurts too bad to walk very far. I can't stand long enough to cook dinner many nights.

So I'm looking at an exercise bike.  Maybe I can do that.
Avatar universal
LOL...this got me too as I am on the computer so much ...sigh.  Maybe sticking a leg out here and there and stretching an arm  or craning the neck will help???

139792 tn?1498589250
Yoga to help sitters. Authentic yoga movement caled sthul Basti.( englosh meaning i will have to search. You may deduce its name frp, narration)
Sthula basti is often identified as a form or variation of aswini mudra, but its practice is very different. It is often translated as "dry" basti (without water) as opposed to jal basti (standard basti is a water lavage of the colon). However there is another form of dry basti using air (see above under jal basti using air). Here by sthula (earth) basti we take to mean the cleansing of the large intestine opening through earth massage.


Simply sit in dandasana sliding the fascia of the sit bones posterior (backwards) and laterally (toward the side)

Then just slide the pelvis over the femur slightly in forward tilt and backward tilt (dog arch and cat tuck) rolling over the sit bones as a preliminary. Try this also with the weight on one sit bone at a time slightly displacing the opposite foot backward. Its OK to use the hands if you like to aid in the movement taking place at the bottom of the hips especially trying to reach any attachments that may affect the perineum even indirectly.

Then let one hip at a time move forward holding the opposite hip bone back. Basically you are wiggling the hip bones one at a time over the area near the rectum and below the tailbone. Let the legs come long out of the hip sockets. See if you can loosen any fascia, alleviate any tension or old muscle spasms in the area of the upper thigh, sit bones, tailbone, sacrum, pelvis, but especially in the area at eh rear of eh perineum. Continue sliding and alternating one side of the hip and then the other, generating a stimulating and energizing massage with an opening effect to the entire area until the area is sufficiently tonified. This waddling motion from the hips can be wide and one can actually walk along eh ground this way in sthula basti.

144586 tn?1284669764
Everytime I think about going not eating that big lunch of pasta aldente with meatsauce, garlic bread and large portion of cheesecake desert followed up by a ice-cold double-chocolate malted and then snoozing away the afternoon instead going out jogging five miles (I can't believe I used to do that EVERY day - it must have been mental illness!) I remember the other theory:

"When you are born you only have so many heartbeats and when you use them up that's all she wrote!"


Avatar universal
Bless your heart, but if I jump into that, I will get stuck...lol.  Baby steps, please.  I am stretching almost every day to limber up ...then maybe I can get into those interesting positions :-))))  

thank you for sharing that.  

Caregiver222 ....love pasta of all sorts but they don't love me....stick to the hips!!!  Cheesecake...make me drool, will you????  I am trying to lose weight (then can reward myself with pasta & cheesecake!!!)
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