Sitting For Long Hours Increases The Risk Of Early Mortality, Even With Exercise

First Posted: Jan 19, 2015 11:50 PM EST

Could sitting for extended periods increase our risk of early mortality? New findings published in the Annals of Internal Medicine examine how sitting for long periods of time can increase the risk of certain types of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and even death.

"Avoiding sedentary time and getting regular exercise are both important for improving your health and survival," said Dr. David Alter, Senior Scientist, Toronto Rehab, University Health Network (UHN), and Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, in a news release. "It is not good enough to exercise for 30 minutes a day and be sedentary for 23 and half hours."

Statistics show that the average person over half their waking hours sedentary, doing things like working at a computer, watching television or sitting in traffic.

Though it can be easy to fall into a work routine where we go through most of the day without leaving our desk, health officials recommend that individuals stand or move one to three minutes every half hour. While watching television, standing or exercising between commercials can also be helpful when it comes to preventing a problem.

However, researchers reiterated that more studies are needed to determine just how extended sedentary behaviors effect health. 

"We need further research to better understand how much physical activity is needed to offset the health risks associated with long sedentary time and optimize our health," concluded lead study author Avi Biswas.

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