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Could Sitting Be Dangerous to Your Health?

Jun 30, 2011 - 8 comments



medhelppulse blog




physical activity






Healthy living

After a night of sleeping, you drive to work and pull up your desk chair and plant yourself at your desk. At lunch you walk to a nearby restaurant and sit to eat. You drive home, then sit at the dinner table, and then settle down in front of the TV. Sounds normal enough, right? Well, here’s some some bad news: All this sitting could be killing you.

Think this sounds ridiculous? A new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology may change your mind. Researchers analyzed survey responses from 123,216 people with no history of cancer, heart attack, stroke, or lung disease. They looked at the amount of time spent sitting and level of physical activity in relation to mortality over a period of 13 years. Results show that the more time people spent sitting, the higher their risk for death, especially in women. “Women who reported more than six hours per day of sitting were 37 percent more likely to die during the time period studied than those who sat fewer than 3 hours a day. Men who sat more than 6 hours a day were 18 percent more likely to die than those who sat fewer than 3 hours per day,” according to a press release from the American Cancer Society (, which conducted the study.

Even worse news? The risk remained virtually the same, even when the scientists took into account the responders’ levels of physical activity. However, when they looked at individuals who sat for more than 6 hours a day and were physically inactive, the risk for death went up to 94% more for women and 48% more for men when compared to those who sat the least and were most active. In other words, sitting for long periods could be bad for you, even if you take time to exercise, but if you don’t, it could be even worse.

To be clear though, the study did not identify a causal link between sitting and a higher risk for death, but rather just an “association”. This means that a higher mortality risk was found in the people who sat more, but this was not necessarily caused by the sitting itself. Also, analysis of survey responses isn’t the most rigorous of study models, even with a sample size this big.

That being said, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to sit less, and move more. Get up and walk around the office every hour. Walk over to a colleague’s desk rather than calling or emailing them. At the very least, you burn more calories and keep your muscles, joints and mind more active.

If you do decide to go out and exercise, use our exercise tracker to record your progress!

Are you active during the day or do you spend most of it sitting? How could you squeeze more movement into your day?

Post a Comment
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by ChitChatNine, Jun 30, 2011
I like your journal...interesting stuff!

I recently updated my exercise  &; pain tracker


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by swampcritter, Jun 30, 2011
Wise man said: "He who sits all day always on bottom."

Avatar universal
by lissy932, Jul 06, 2011
I do like what was said on sitting I really need to walk more often then i do and work does not allow me to do that

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by klash1, Jul 08, 2011
Pick a time we all have 24 hours in a day and many choices how to use them.
1/2 hour in the morning or evening  (walk bike skate) pick what fits your day. jump rope floor or chair exercises,
on line free programs in qi kung tai chi meditation yoga aerobic  anaerobic go bowling play golf min golf volley ball tennis
play with kids animals lots of programs.
You owe it to your self to be the best you for a happy life.

Avatar universal
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Avatar universal
by Ida215, Aug 13, 2011
I have a desk job. I have always been an active person and like my mother it is hard for me to sit more than an hour at a time. I always get up and go to the different department walking around, I make coffee for the staff which gives me an opportunity to walk. I take my breaks and walk around the block -co-workers think I'm crazy walking in the hot sun but I take my bottle of water and tennis shoes and walk, while clearing my mind. I find that if I don't do this routine, my body feel out of place.

It is very good to walk especially if you have a sitting job.

Enjoy your day!

Avatar universal
by Cherrypink, Oct 13, 2011
Hey! the gist of it is to moderate daily activities and eat well ,sleep well and play well . Statistics are there for you to take note but do not be afraid and start to do rash things  . Life is too short so take care not to worry ,  be happy .cheers!

Avatar universal
by Suwaidi, Mar 20, 2012
Hi! All even i have a sitting job but i try to make a walk for a while atleast for 5 minutes every hour and in the evening i walk after my dinner for atleast 45 mins

I was a heavy smoker but since last 1 1/2 months i have quit smoking but i have started palpitation and i have checked with the doctors and all my reports are clear even i went to the cardiologist and the internest and almost all kind doctors
If any of you can advise me on this i will be very much thankful

I am taking some medicine to reduce palpitations but i do not knw the cause of palpitation is it because of quitting smokings or what

Please advice!



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