Excessive sitting can increase the risk of premature death by as much as 50%

Research has made the debate more credible that prolonged sitting can be hazardous to health. An international study that surveyed more than 100,000 people from 21 countries found that those who sat for 6 to 8 hours a day had a 12 to 13% increased risk of heart disease and premature death, while those who sat for more than 8 hours a day had a 12 to 13% increased risk of heart disease and premature death. increased risk. risk up to 20%.

The researchers followed the participants for an average of 11 years and found that sitting a lot was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death. While sitting appeared to be a problem in all countries, this was especially the case in low-income and lower-middle-income countries.

The takeaway health message here is to reduce the amount of time sitting. If sitting is necessary, moving more at other times of the day will help reduce the risks.

Those who sat the most with the least activity had the highest risk of as much as 50%, while those who sat the most but with the most activity had a significantly reduced risk of about 17%.

For individuals who sit more than 4 hours a day, replacing 30 minutes of sitting with 30 minutes of exercise reduced the risk by 2%. Here’s an opportunity to increase activity to help reduce the risk of early death and heart disease.

The researchers found an unusual association in low-income countries, leading them to theorize that it could be due to the fact that sitting in higher-income countries is usually associated with better-paying jobs and higher socioeconomic status.

Doctors should focus on getting patients to sit less and become more active because it is an inexpensive intervention that can have huge benefits.

But while doctors should educate patients about countering the harmful effects of sitting with more activity, people should better assess their lifestyle. The study found that sitting combined with inactivity was responsible for 8.8% of all deaths, which is comparable to smoking. It is a worldwide problem that is very easy to solve. Scheduling time to get out of that chair is a great start.

Disease of sitting, infographic

Image source – ergotron

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