Sitting down too long can lead to early death

Excessive sedentary time increases risk for all-cause mortality

Excessive sedentary time increases risk for all-cause mortality

So if you have a job or lifestyle where you have to sit for prolonged periods of time, we suggest taking a movement break every half hour.

People with greater total sedentary time were more likely to be black, to smoke, and to have diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, estimated glomerular filtration rate less than 60 mL/min/1.73 m, and atrial fibrillation. Now, a new study says it's not just the total time spent sitting throughout the day, but specifically sitting for long periods of time.

'This one behavior change could reduce your risk of death, although we don't yet know precisely how much activity is optimal'.

The researchers found that in a 16-hour waking day, the participants sat a little more than 12 hours. In follow-ups performed over a median of four years. Sedentary behavior, light-intensity physical activity and moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity were defined as measurements of 0 to 49, 50 to 1,064, and at least 1,065 counts per minute, respectively.

In a new study, people who sat the most had twice the risk of dying over a 4-year period as people who sat the least.

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Mortality risk was calculated for those with various amounts of total sedentary time and various sedentary patterns.

Dr. David Alter is an associate professor of medicine at the University of Toronto.

"In a geographically diverse, biracial, population-based sample of middle-aged and older USA adults, both total sedentary time and prolonged, uninterrupted sedentary bouts were associated with an increased risk for all-cause mortality, independent of physical activity levels", Diaz and colleagues concluded.

So although standing desks are becoming more and more popular, until better scientific studies are published, I would encourage people who are concerned about their sedentary habits to take movement breaks as often as possible.

"Just like weight-management strategies, we will need to monitor how much time we spend sitting, moving and undertaking exercise in a much more deliberate way than we have perhaps thought previously", Alter said.

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It's more than exercise, Diaz said.

Diaz and colleagues sought to determine the relationship between sedentary behavior measured objectively through both total volume and accrual in prolonged, uninterrupted bouts and all-cause mortality.

Previous studies have shown being sedentary can be bad for your health.

Those with the greatest amount of sedentary time - more than 13 hours per day - and who frequently had sedentary bouts of at least 60 to 90 consecutive minutes had a almost two-fold increase in death risk compared with those who had the least total sedentary time and the shortest sedentary bouts.

The research was supported by a cooperative agreement U01-NS041588 and investigator-initiated grant R01-NS061846 from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health, as well as an unrestricted research grant from The Coca-Cola Company.

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