People sitting for long hours face 48 per cent increased risk of death

CANBERRA – The longer people sit each day, the greater their chances of going to an early grave, Australia study found on Thursday.

The study began in 2006 and tracks the health of 260,000 men and women in New South Wales. It found those who sat for more than 10 hours a day had a 48 per cent increased risk of death compared to more active people who sat for less than four hours a day.

According to co-author of the study, Adrian Bauman, of the University of Sydney’s school of public health, people with physically active jobs such as gardeners, builders and childcare workers faced less of a problem than those chained to a desk.

“Your lowest risk of death is if you are physically active and don’t sit,” Professor Bauman said in a statement released on Thursday. “Your highest risk is if you don’t do any physical activity and you sit a lot of the day.”

Prof Bauman said it was vital that people who sat for most of the day incorporated extra physical activity into their routines.

He added that people doing high amounts of physical activity (an hour a day) are mostly offsetting the effects of sitting, but there are a few people can achieve that.

He recommended that the more a person sit in the day the more they should try and build in a few extra minutes of physical activity by walking to the bus stop, or to the sandwich shop at lunchtime, and using the stairs instead of the lift.

He said sitting will lead to blood-sugar levels stay high, and therefore is one of the reason why sitting for prolonged periods of time was so bad for people’s health.

The findings will be presented on Thursday at the annual meeting of the 45 and Up Study, the largest ongoing health research project in the southern hemisphere.

By Juan Leandro, XINHUA

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