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Study Reports Sitting Can Kill You, So Get Out of That Seat & Move

Emma Goddard Published by Emma Goddard
Published on January 21, 2015

Whether during a morning commute, while hanging out watching Netflix, or simply at a desk at work, sitting probably takes up a large portion of our day. Right now, as I write this, I'm sitting. Yet despite living an overall healthy lifestyle or getting regular exercise, a new study from Annals of Internal Medicine reports that anyone who sits for long periods of time is at greater risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and early death.

Researchers in Toronto, who analyzed 47 studies, found that people who engage in long hours of sedentary activity are at risk for declining health, even if they work out regularly. Even scarier, anyone who engages in "prolonged sitting" or sitting for more than eight to 12 hours a day, according to CNN, increases their risk of type 2 diabetes by 90 percent. Though individuals who exercise regularly but spend much of their time sitting are "30 percent less likely to die of any cause in a given period than were those who get little to no exercise," according to the Los Angeles Times, those who exercise vigorously are "16 percent more likely to die of any cause in a given time than were those who do not sit for long."

Although the study makes it unclear as to how long one can participate in sedentary activity a day before they're at risk, Dr. David Alter, senior scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and an author of the study, recommended these actions:

Take a Walk at Work

Every half-hour, walk around for one to three minutes.

Use a Standing Desk

If available, use a standing desk at your office to get off your butt and onto your feet.

Monitor Your Sedentary Activity

Aim to decrease your sedentary time and try to do so by reducing it by at least two or three hours.

Continue With Your Regular Exercise

Though the study says that increased health risks still take place in those who exercise frequently, the odds are higher for those who participate in little to no exercise. Maintain or even increase the amount of time you spend participating in vigorous activity.

Move Around During Commercial Breaks

Get up and move around during commercial breaks when you watch TV to help decrease your sedentary behavior.

How long do you engage in sedentary behavior each day? Tweet us @wewomenUSA!

This article was written by Emma Goddard. Follower her on Twitter @egoddardhokie.

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