Too much sitting linked to heart disease, diabetes, premature death
Like many people, I have a job that involves sitting in front of a computer most of the day. Because I work from home, I don’t have to sit through a long commute, and my dog gets me up out of my chair for walks a couple times a day. Still, a new study about the health hazards of sitting too much (or what researchers call sedentary behavior) has made me more conscious of how much uninterrupted chair time I’m logging each day.
According to the report, published in this week’s Annals of Internal Medicine, more than half of the average person’s waking hours are spent sitting: watching television, working at a computer, commuting, or doing other physically inactive pursuits. But all that sitting could be sending us to an early grave—even those folks who exercise up to an hour a day, say the Canadian researchers who did the study.
Their findings were gleaned from 47 studies that looked at the health effects of sedentary behavior. The researchers adjusted for other types of activity people did, from leisure-time activities to vigorous exercise. Over the course of these studies, people who sat for prolonged periods of time had a higher risk of dying from all causes — even those who exercised regularly. The negative effects were even more pronounced in people who did little or no exercise.
The health hazards of not moving much are wide ranging, says Dr. Joanne Foody, who directs the Cardiovascular Wellness Center at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “While we often think of the dangers of inactivity in terms of worsening cardiovascular health, there ar Continue reading