Many of our lifestyles involve a lack of daily activity, sometimes being confined to our office chairs or couches for hours if not for most of the day.
Sadly, whether it’s a choice or not, it turns out that such a sedentary lifestyle may send many people to an early grave!
According to a new study published in JAMA Cardiology that surveyed more than 100,000 people from 21 different countries, those who spend between 6 and 8 hours per day in a sitting position increase their risk of both heart disease and losing their lives earlier on by 12 to 13 percent!
Furthermore, the risk was raised by 20 percent for those who spent 8 or more hours sitting every day.
The study authors, who collaborated with the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing, were able to track the participants for around 11 years, managing to clearly link too much time sitting to an increased risk of heart disease and mortality.
Sitting may be a dangerous problem all countries deal with but the authors stressed that this is even more of an issue in lower middle income and low income countries.
Scott Lear, a Simon Fraser University health sciences professor and co-author of the study, shared in a university release that “The overarching message here is to minimize how much you sit. If you must sit, getting in more exercise during other times of the day will offset that risk.”
The research suggests that the risk increases gradually the more often that someone sits.
The least active people who spent the most time in a sitting position registered the highest levels of risk, which went up to 50 percent!
As for the most active participants, they had the lowest risk of around 17 percent.
Prof. Lear explains that “For those sitting more than four hours a day, replacing a half hour of sitting with exercise reduced the risk by two percent. With only one in four Canadians meeting the activity guidelines there’s a real opportunity here for people to increase their activity and reduce their chances of early death and heart disease. Our study found that a combination of sitting and inactivity accounted for 8.8 percent of all deaths, which is close to the contribution of smoking (10.6 percent in this study).”