How serious of a health risk is our modern, inactive lifestyle? We know about smoking, drinking and other behaviors...but what about sitting?
More and more information is coming to light about the risks of sedentary behavior. This includes sitting at the TV, Computer or on Public Transit, likely reading through a mobile device.
A new study from The Lancet , Does physical activity attenuate, or even eliminate, the detrimental association of sitting time with mortality? A harmonised meta-analysis of data from more than 1 million men and women, has looked at the common conditions associated with low levels physical activety, and compared groups who exercise with groups who do not.
"Physical inactivity is associated with type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, some cancers and premature mortality."
"These results provide further evidence on the benefits of physical activity, particularly in societies where increasing numbers of people have to sit for long hours for work or transport. Our findings indicate that increased sitting time is associated with increased all-cause mortality; however, the magnitude of increased risk with increased sitting time is mitigated in physically active people. Indeed, those belonging to the most active quartile and who are active about 60–75 min per day of moderate intensity physical activity seem to have no increased risk of mortality, even if they sit for more than 8 h a day."
Once again, exercise is proving to be the best medicine. Aim for a ratio of 1 hour exercise for each of your 8 hours sitting. Choose active modes of transportation, always take the stairs, walk documents to a colleague instead of emailing them all the time, and pick up a new activety that keeps you moving. Choose simple ways to keep active and stay healthy.