Study Says Long Hours of Sitting May Lead to Early Death

People who have inactive lifestyles or those who sit around a lot are likely to die prematurely according to a study.

In a recent study conducted in the United States (US), it was suggested that adults who spend much of the day sitting may be more possibly to die prematurely than those people who don’t sit around often, regardless of their exercise routine.

On the contrary, the study further claimed that those people who really have to be seated for longer stretches of hours may be less possibly to die prematurely if they would just break up sedentary time by moving around every 30 minutes.

News report have it that in a statement released through email by the study’s lead researcher, Keith Diaz, of the Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, he claimed and we quoted:

“We think these findings suggest that it is simply not enough to be active or move at just one specific time of the day, that is, exercise.. We need to be mindful of moving frequently throughout the day in addition to exercising,”

-Keith Diaz

While previous studies have attributed excessive sedentary time to an increased risk of early death, many of these researches relied on people to accurately remember and report how much they move around and might not have recalled a clear representation of the relationship between death and inactivity.

For this recent study, researchers observed data on some 7,985 adults aged 45 and above. The participants were asked to wear accelerometers to measure their levels of activity for one week.

Generally, the participants’ sedentary behavior accounted for 77 percent of their waking hours, or approximately 12 hours a day according to a report released by the researchers at the Annals of Internal Medicine.

On average, sessions of sedentary time were nearly 11-minutes long, and more than half of the time the participants spend sitting and standing happened in sessions of less than 30 minutes according to the said study.

However, nearly 14 percent of the participants typically had stretches of sedentary time lasting at least 90 minutes or one and a half hour.

During the course of the said study, some 340 people died following an average follow up of four years.

Subsequently, the researchers grouped the participants into four from the least sedentary people, who spent only at least 11 hours total sitting and standing within a day to the most sedentary people who spent more than 13 hours a day total sitting and standing.

They were also grouped into four groups based on how long usual sessions of sedentary time lasted before they took movement breaks, going from less than 7.7 minutes to at least 12.4 minutes.

During the entire study period, it was found out that the most sedentary people with the longest time of sitting down were twice as possibly to die at all cause as compared to the least sedentary people with the shortest stretches of sitting time.

Nevertheless, the researchers noted that the only drawback of the said study is that the accelerometers could not distinguish between sedentary time from sitting and sedentary time from standing.

Also, the study wasn’t really a controlled research specifically designed to prove how or whether sedentary time directly causes early death.

In a statement released by Dr. David Alter, the head of cardiovascular and metabolic research for the University Health Network-Toronto Rehabilitation Institute in Canada, he claimed that it could be indeed possible that prolonged sedentary time might rush death by causing what is called as metabolic toxicity.

Through email, he said to news reports:

“The lack of activity in our muscles affects our ability to metabolize our sugars efficiently.. Over time, our body accumulates excess fat, which can lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and death.”

-Dr. David Alter

Alter further suggested that a stop watch might help in such case since it could help remind people to get up and move around often throughout the day to prevent long sedentary stretches.

Diaz also gave his own suggestion to keep you moving which we also quoted:

“Anything that will facilitate movement would be better: treadmill desks, under desk steppers or cycles, or just plain old fashioned walking breaks that can be pretty easily implemented in an office setting,”

-Keith Diaz

Aizelle Joe