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Prolonged sitting may affect healthPosted On Wed, July 13, 2011
While a lack of exercise has long been implicated as a leading contributor to obesity-related diseases, scientists now believe prolonged sitting may adversely affect one's health.
Set to be published in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers are pinpointing protracted periods of sitting as a new risk factor for obesity.
"Epidemiologic and physiologic research on sedentary behavior suggests that there are novel health consequences of prolonged sitting time, which appear to be independent of those attributable to lack of leisure-time physical activity," said Neville Owen, one of the study's lead authors and who works at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Australia.
The researchers say their conclusions could have an impact on workplace environments where sedentary behavior is common, perhaps leading to how workspaces are designed.
Owen went on to say that while the results are compelling, more research needs to be done before coming to any conclusions as to how to correct the issue.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, medical costs for obesity total approximately $147 billion, which may play a role in what insurance rates health insurers charge.
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