Most of us know and understand well that sitting around all day long isn’t the best thing in the world for our health. However, now a recent study has found that not only is it bad for you, it can reduce your life expectancy as well.
The study, which was published in the American Journal of Preventative medicine found that when we sit for long periods of time, our odds of an untimely death increases.
That includes hours spent working, watching television, studying at home, and lounging outside. Participants in the study reported their sedentary time via questionnaire, which was placed into four categories (≤4, >4–8, ≥8–11, >11 hours).
Then, the mortality risks of the participants were calculated by use of Cox proportional hazard models, with adjustments for cofounders. By using their age, race, body mass index, physical activity, and any chronic diseases, researchers discovered that those who were more sedentary had an increased risk for early death, as well as a higher risk for cancer.
In another study, it was discovered that sitting more than three hours a day could cause 3.8% of “all-cause deaths” within the 54 counties that were used in the study.
And, if we reduce our sitting time, we could add an additional 0.2 years to our lives, according to the researchers conducting the study.
“Assuming that the effect of sitting time on all-cause mortality risk is independent of physical activity, reducing sitting time plays an important role in active lifestyle promotion, which is an important aspect of premature mortality prevention worldwide.”
However, there is good news. According to the researchers who wrote the study, by simply reducing our sitting time to 50% of what it was before, we could see a 2.3 decline in all-cause mortality.
Of course, if you are already living a mostly sedentary lifestyle, getting up and moving more can sound like quite a bit to get used to. But, when starting, you can take baby steps to the finish line. Start by waking up earlier in the day to get started. If you sit at work, try taking the stairs to your office, and make sure to park your car a way farther than usual. You can also try taking a simple walk, or go window shopping during your lunchbreak. By making simple modifications at first, you can change your lifestyle and lengthen your life span considerably, over time.