Continuous Sitting for Most of the Day May Increase Mortality Risk

Continuous Sitting for Most of the Day May Increase Mortality Risk

The researchers found a "dose-response" relationship between the risk of death and the amount of sedentary time, which means that the more you sit the more your risk of dying goes up.

How you sit is more important for your health than the total amount of time you're sitting, a new study claims.

Theou and colleagues sought to evaluate how the association between sedentary behaviors and higher risk of mortality was impacted by level of frailty.

Like many of us, executive assistant Meghan Hampsey spends way too many hours sitting behind a desk.

"We need similar guidelines for sitting", said Diaz. The researchers used uniaxial accelerometers to measure time engaged in sedentary behaviors and a 46-item frailty index to measure frailty.

Previous studies have shown being sedentary can be bad for your health.

"The REGARDS study was originally created to examine why blacks (and particularly blacks in the Southern US) have a greater risk for stroke than whites", said Diaz.

For the study, Diaz and his colleagues reviewed data on almost 8,000 USA adults 45 and older who had participated in a previous study.

Researchers reported that sitting response was examined for 77 percent of volunteers' walking hours, or around 12 hours a day.

Adults are sedentary for nine to 10 hours of their waking day, which can lead to cardiovascular risks and even death.

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Measuring duration, the researchers clocked participants sitting, on average, for 11.4 minutes at a stretch.

Analyzing the data, it was found that participants who kept their bouts of physical inactivity to less than 30 minutes had the lowest risk for death.

He also explained that sitting for long periods can cause blood to pool in the legs and that the combination of blood pooling, decreased blood flow, and turbulent blood flow is believed to be conducive to the development of plaque formation in the blood vessels.

According to Gizmodo, even though have been many studies in the past to prove that extended periods of sedentary behavior in humans can lead to many medical conditions such back pain, organ damage, muscle degeneration and in serious cases death, all the studies conducted on the topic so far had their fair share of limitations.

What's more, factors such as smoking status and blood pressure were only captured once, and the activity trackers were only worn over one week, meaning that changes in the health or behaviour of participants over time was not taken into account.

"Sitting increases your risk of death, regardless of whether you exercise or not". He also referenced adding sedentary bouts into the analysis, noting that "this study was able to look at how bout duration also is related to mortality, which is a novel analysis". "If you sat for over 12 hours on a given day, your risk of death increased substantially", study author, Dr. Keith Diaz at Columbia University Medical Center said.

How sedentary behavior impacts our health in negative ways is "unclear and complex", wrote Dr. David A. Alter, an associate professor at the University of Toronto in Ontario, in an editorial published with the study. "The longer the better, the more intense the better", said Diaz.

On average, the sitting time's periods were around 11 minutes long, and more than half of the time participants spent sitting in periods of less than 30 minutes, the research found.

"The first time we do this, the positive effects are immediate", she said.

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