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Sitting damages life expectancy

Posted On Thu, July 26, 2012

Those who sit for prolonged periods of time may be at risk of cutting their lifespan by as much as two years, no matter how much they get exercise, according to a report by Louisiana State University's Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

The life expectancy decline was found when people sat down for more than three hours a day compared to those who don't sit as frequently. This adds credence to older studies which suggested that sitting for more than six hours a day can have a 20 percent increase in premature death than those who sat for less than three hours per day.

"It's right in the same ballpark as smoking and obesity - sedentary behavior is in the same category," said Peter Katzmarzyk, lead author of the paper, according to the news source. "Smoking is still the number one risk factor [for early death], but sitting is catching up."

Even if people were very active despite sitting this long, it did not have a significant effect, the study explained. Those who spend fewer than two hours watching television per day can extend their lifespan by nearly 1.5 years. Katzmarzyk added that there are many health issues that can stem from the lifestyle, overall.

People who have to deal with extended periods of sitting due to their jobs may want to speak with their doctor about ways to help this situation, if they cannot find a way to lessen their sitting at work. If they don't have a doctor due to affordability issues, they may be able to rectify this by looking for health insurance quotes online.

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