Sitting Disease Kills!
The alarming results of a 13 year study on sitting and its effects on lifespan are very upsetting to read. Sit, sit, sit. It’s what a lot of us do all day long. We work in cubicles. We watch TV. We drive. We read. We stare at social media. Did I mention that we sit? A recent study from American Cancer Society researchers finds it’s not just how much physical activity you get, but how much time you spend sitting that can affect your risk of death.
It’s not news that all this rump-resting is bad for your health, of course. But, a large study out of Australia puts a better perspective and numbers on how too much sitting increases the risk of death.
And no matter how much exercise the participants reported, sitting for long periods still raised the risk of death.
“Prolonged sitting is a risk factor for all-cause mortality, independent of physical activity,” wrote the authors of the study, which appears on the American Cancer Society Press Release page Study Links More Time Spent Sitting to Higher Risk of Death.
To explore the association between sitting time and mortality, researchers led by Alpa Patel, Ph.D. analyzed survey responses from 123,216 individuals (53,440 men and 69,776 women) who had no history of cancer, heart attack, stroke, or emphysema/other lung disease enrolled in the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention II study in 1992.
Questionnaire studies are not the best — they rely on folks to be honest, of course. But the huge number of participants increases confidence that the results are accurate.
Other research shows that sitting might lead to an early death due to increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and other disorders.
So what can be done about this sedentary sitting disease tsunami? Some office workers and employers are turning to MultiTable height adjustable standing desks, and many have reported just how much they enjoy the freedom to sit or stand during their workday. Many report weight loss, higher energy levels, lower A1C levels, less pain and aches, and higher productivity.
“Public health messages and guidelines should be refined to include reducing time spent sitting in addition to promoting physical activity. Because a sizeable fraction of the population spends much of their time sitting, it is beneficial to encourage sedentary individuals to stand up and walk around as well as to reach optimal levels of physical activity.” ~ Alpa V. Patel – American Cancer Society
“The good news, is that increasing light-intensity activity may be a feasible goal for many and offers great health benefits.”
“Light-intensity activity”: That’s academic talk for getting off your rear, or adding MultiTable standing desks and using them periodically during your day to stand up and work instead of sitting on your butt all day.
 Article: “Leisure Time Spent Sitting in Relation to Total Mortality in a Prospective Cohort of US Adults.” Alpa V. Patel, Leslie Bernstein, Anusila Deka, Heather Spencer Feigelson, Peter T. Campbell, 5 Susan M. Gapstur, Graham A. Colditz, and Michael J. Thun. Am J Epid Published online July 22, 2010 (DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwq155)