Prolonged Sitting Linked to Increased Risk of Early Death

Statistics show that the average U.S. adult sits for up to 10 hours per day, according to research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. While sitting for long periods of time may sound harmless enough, there’s new evidence suggesting otherwise.

About the Study

According to a study cited by CNN, prolonged sitting is a risk factor of early morality. For the study, researchers from Columbia University Medical Center and New York Presbyterian analyzed data from 8,000 participants, all of whom were asked to wear fitness-tracking devices. Researchers found that most participants spent more than three-quarters of their time sitting when awake, or about 12 hours.

Looking further at the participants’ habits, researchers also discovered a correlation between sitting time and mortality. Participants who spent the most time sitting had the highest risk of death. What’s interesting, however, is that prolonged sitting without interruption had the biggest impact. Participants who sat for long periods of time but took frequent breaks to stand had a lower risk of mortality than their counterparts who didn’t take breaks to stand.

Based on these findings, researchers advise against prolonged sitting. Instead, they recommend taking a break to stand and move around at least once every 30 minutes.

Tips to Prevent Prolonged Sitting

In addition to taking breaks to stand, there are other ways to prevent prolonged sitting and the health risks it poses. If you work at home or in the office, for instance, you may be able to use a standing desk. These desks function just like ordinary desks but are several feet taller, allowing you to use them while standing.

Another idea is to exercise and move around when you watch TV. It’s not TV that’s necessarily bad for you but rather the sitting that accompanies it. If you exercise, however, you can enjoy your favorite shows and movies without the negative effects. These are just a few tips to prevent prolonged sitting.