Too Much Sitting Linked to Chronic Health Problems02/21/13
THURSDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- People who spend hours
each day without getting up and moving around should take heed: A
new study suggests that the more people sit each day, the greater
their risk for chronic health problems, such as cancer, diabetes
and heart disease.
Researchers from Australia and Kansas State University said
their findings have implications for office workers, truck drivers
and other people who regularly sit for long periods of time. To
reduce the risk of chronic disease, the study authors concluded
that people should sit less, and move more.
"We know that with very high confidence that more physically active people do better with regard to chronic disease compared with less physically active people, but we should also be looking at reducing sitting," Richard Rosenkranz, assistant professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University, said in a university news release.
"A lot of office jobs that require long periods of sitting may be hazardous to your health because of inactivity and the low levels of energy expenditure," he explained.
The study involved over 63,000 Australian men from New South
Wales, ranging in age from 45 to 65. The researchers questioned the
men about whether or not they had various chronic diseases. The men
also reported how many hours they spent sitting down each day.
The study revealed that the men who sat for four hours or less
daily were much less likely to have a chronic condition -- such as
cancer, diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure -- than
those who sat for more than four hours each day. And the men who
sat for at least six hours daily were at significantly greater risk
for diabetes, the researchers noted.
The number of chronic diseases reported increased along with
sitting time. This was true even after the investigators took the
men's physical activity level, age, income, education, weight and
height into account.
"We saw a steady stair-step increase in risk of chronic diseases the more participants sat. The group sitting more than eight hours clearly had the highest risk," said Rosenkranz.
"It's not just that people aren't getting enough physical activity, but it's that they're also sitting too much," he said. "And on top of that, the more you sit, the less time you have for physical activity."
The study authors noted it's not entirely clear if sitting time
leads to the development of chronic diseases or if it's the other
way around: "It's a classic case of, 'Which came first: The chicken
or the egg?'" Rosenkranz pointed out in the news release.
The study was published online recently in the
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on
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