Sitting more than six hour a day during your free time raises the risk of early death by 19 percent. There’s more evidence that sitting in your free time can kill you. People who sat the most were more likely to die from 14 different diseases, the new survey from the American Cancer Society finds.
The survey of more than 125,000 adults found that those who sat six or more hours a day were 19 percent more likely to die over the next 21 years than those who spent less time on the couch or at a desk after the workday is over.
“Risk was significantly higher for 14 of the 22 specific causes of death examined, and importantly, for eight of the top 10 leading causes of death in the U.S.,” the American Cancer Society’s Alpa Patel and colleagues wrote in their report, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
The 14 causes of death that were more likely the longer people sat: cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease, suicide, COPD (such as emphysema), pneumonitis due to inhaling something, liver disease, peptic ulcer and other digestive disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, nervous disorders and musculoskeletal disorders.
Even if you’re doing your recommended 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day of the week, there still can be a risk associated with sitting for the rest of the day,” Pagidipati said.
A little exercise is better than none
“We should be moving as much as possible. Get as much physical activity as you can and don’t be discouraged if you can’t get the exact amount that the guidelines recommend,” Pagidipati said.
Federal guidelines say Americans should do 2.5 hours a week of moderate exercise such as brisk walking or 75 minutes a week of running or similarly high-intensity exercise.
It’s not clear how much is enough to offset a sedentary life. But other studies have shown even a little exercise is better than none.
There are several possible explanations for how sitting can be linked with shorter lives. One is obvious.
“Time spent sitting displaces time spent in physical activity and is associated with lower total physical activity levels,” the researchers wrote.
“Alternatively, it is possible that time spent sitting, especially when engaged in specific activities such as television viewing, is associated with other unhealthy behaviors, such as excess snacking. This could explain why associations with time spent watching television are generally stronger in magnitude than those for leisure-time spent sitting.”
Sitting also affects the metabolism, interfering with healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
As for suicide, it’s possible people who are clinically depressed may be more likely to spend time sitting. And a lack of energy and sitting may be early warning signs of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
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By NBC News