A solid body of scientific evidence strongly suggests that the more time a person spends sitting, the higher their risk of death from any cause. Multiple large studies and high-quality data analyses show that regardless of age or health issues, the hours we spend in our office chairs, cars, or on the sofa watching television can literally kill us.
Are we destined to die earlier than landscapers, baristas, and construction workers?
Should we all quit and seek an occupation that will allow us to be on our feet instead? Maybe I should have studied the culinary arts…
Not so, suggests a very well-conducted study published in July in The Lancet. These authors took a fresh look at a massive load of data from 16 large studies and including over a million subjects. They aggregated the information, re-ran the analyses, and corrected for individual and population variations.
What they found was that 60 to 75 minutes of moderate physical activity like walking to work, walking the dog, riding a stationary bike, line dancing, golf or softball, doubles tennis, or coaching sports eliminates the risk of death related to sitting, even from sitting for more than eight hours per day.
The take-home message from the Lancet study, as well as the mountain of research in this area, is that less sitting and more exercise is the goal, and every little bit of improvement in either area helps.
Full story on health.harvard.edu