New studies and data reviews have now shown that sitting is hazardous to a person’s health. On average, people now sit over 9 hours a day at their jobs and at home. Studies and reviews have shown that, sitting for long periods of time (over six hours per day) can cause a greater risk of death within a 15-year span as opposed to people who sit for less than three hours a day — a 40% greater risk.
Sitting Ducks for Disease
A data review also revealed that obese people sit for, on average, 2.5 hours longer per day than people within a normal weight range. This increase in sitting and obesity also means an increase in chance of death from diseases typically associated with sedentary behavior — such as diabetes and heart disease. But it also has shown an increase in risk of several types of cancer.
Additionally, studies have revealed that people who sat the most were half as more likely to die than their control counterparts. The most significant find of this study was that the effects were true regardless of whether or not the people smoked, regardless of their age groups, and regardless of physical activity levels. In other words, even though some people in the sitting group got at least 30 minutes of activity per day, it didn’t matter. The increased risk was the same.
Overall, the studies showed a variety of results of the hazards of sitting, explained by numbers:
- Each hour of television watched can reduce a person’s lifespan by 22 minutes.
- The moment a person sits down, the enzymes that break down fat in a person’s body drop by 90%.
- The rate of cardiovascular disease in people with sitting jobs is twice (2x) that of people with standing jobs.
Researchers are getting more and more information on the sitting issue, increasing their understanding of the hazards of sitting. With the amount of office jobs oriented to sitting at a desk all day, an increasing amount of death risk may soon become an epidemic.
Currently, researchers are working on discovering how much activity is needed to counterbalance the effects of sitting for long periods of time, and how to avoid sitting for long periods of time.
The current research is clear, however: sitting is not pretty.