Why sitting too much shortens lifespan

Why Sitting Too Much Shortens Lifespan

Sitting too long leads to a lower life expectancy, even if you exercise regularly. People who sit for more than 6 hours a day have a 19% higher risk of premature death compared to people who sit for less than 3 hours a day, according to an American Cancer Society study.

Among the causes of death are eight out of the ten most common causes of death, which are favored by sitting too much. The study was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology on June 29, 2018.

Included in the study were 127,554 people who had no chronic diseases at the start of the study. At the control examination 21 years later, 48,784 people had died.

Risks of death among those who reported the most leisure time sitting were higher from cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease, suicide, lung disease, liver disease, peptic ulcer and other digestive diseases, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, nervous disorders, and musculoskeletal disorders.

Exercise cannot reduce the risk

This was shown in an Australian study with more than 220,000 subjects, who were 45 years and older in a 2012 study, published in Archives of Internal Medicine. The scientists linked prospective questionnaire data from people living in New South Wales and compared daily sitting time with all causes of mortality in that population. Measures were taken to ensure that variables such as sex, age, education, place of living, and smoking status did not falsify the data. The study concluded, once again, that the more hours spent sitting, the greater the chance of dying prematurely. Furthermore, research indicated that an individual's risk did not change even if part of the day was spent exercising (Van der Ploeg et al., 2012).

About the Author 

Eric Soehngen, M.D., Ph.D. is a German physician and specialist in Internal Medicine. With his company Walkolution, he battles the negative health effects that sitting has on the human body. 

Walkolution develops ergonomically optimized treadmill desks, which help to bring more movement into the daily work routine in the office or home office.

Photo credit: Gaelle Marcel 

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