Too much sitting down can be fatal

People who spend too much of their daily lives sitting down are more likely to die than those who are sitting for only a few hours a day, according to new research.

Australian researchers have found that spending less time sitting and doing a greater amount of light physical activity, such as slow walking or household chores, could help you live longer and improve your health.

In a study carried out on 200,000 adults aged over 45 over two years, researchers from the University of Sydney found that people who reported that they sat for at least 11 hours a day were 40 per cent more likely to die during the study than those who sat less than four hours daily.

The researchers found that the extra risk linked to sitting was valid regardless of what weight people were, how much exercise they got and whether they were healthy or had pre-existing medical conditions.

The researchers said sitting or reclining, especially in front of computers or TVs, is bad for you regardless of your age.

They say that even though people tend to think they will maintain good health as long as they exercise a certain amount a day, that is not necessarily the case.

The researchers have speculated that too much sitting may affect blood vessels and metabolism by increasing fats in the blood and lowering 'good' cholesterol levels.

The advise people who sit a lot at work to train themselves to regularly interrupt sedentary behavior - for example by standing up while on the phone or holding a stand-up meeting.

The research is published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

[Posted: Sat 31/03/2012]

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