Sitting for long periods in the day? You could be putting your health at risk, according to many health experts. One study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, claims sitting for too long could increase your risk of serious health issues - heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
"More than one half of an average person's day is spent being sedentary -- sitting, watching television, or working at a computer," Dr David Alter, Senior Scientist, Toronto Rehab, University Health Network (UHN), and Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, told a news portal. Adding, "Our study finds that despite the health-enhancing benefits of physical activity, this alone may not be enough to reduce the risk for disease."
This was a meta-analysis study that examined many studies that focused their investigation on sedentary behaviour. The study's findings suggest those who sit for too long and don't exercise enough could be at higher risk of many health issues.
"The findings suggest that the health risk of sitting too much is less pronounced when physical activity is increased," Avi Biswas, PhD candidate, Toronto Rehab, UHN and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, told a news portal. Adding, "We need further research to better understand how much physical activity is needed to offset the health risks associated with long sedentary time and optimize our health."
More research is needed to better understand which interventions can work to effectively tackle this issue. "Avoiding sedentary time and getting regular exercise are both important for improving your health and survival," Dr Alter told a news portal. Adding, "It is not good enough to exercise for 30 minutes a day and be sedentary for 23 and half hours."
However, Dr Alter points out there are strategies that could help people spend less time sitting. "The first step is to monitor sitting times -- once we start counting, we're more likely to change our behaviour," Dr Alter told a news portal. Adding, "Next is setting achievable goals and finding opportunities to incorporate greater physical activity -- and less time sitting -- into your daily life. For example, at work, stand up or move for one to three minutes every half hour; and when watching television, stand or exercise during commercials."
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