Longer sitting hours increase risk of mortality in women: New study

Does your job require you to spend prolonged hours sitting? Or do you enjoy your leisure time of watching television or playing computer games? Then you may want to re-think your habits or find a way to engage in physical activity as a new research has shown that too much sitting puts one at an increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and most of the times – death.


Photo Credit: Pilatesball

Alpa Patel, an Indian origin researcher of the American Cancer Society led a study to investigate the total mortality rates associated with hours sitting.

They evaluated the survey reactions from 123, 216 individuals, out of which 69, 776 were women and 53, 440 were men. These people who had no history of cancer, cardiovascular disease or emphysema or other lung issues had enrolled to the 1992 “Prevention II” study of the Cancer Society.

The research team discovered that between 1993 and 2006, individuals; especially women who spent more than six hours a day sitting had 37 percent increased risk of mortality as compared to those who spent less than three hours a day sitting.

In case of men, those who spent six hours a day sitting had 18 percent increased risk of mortality than those who spent less than three hours a day sitting.

The figures remained nearly the same even after regulating for physical actions with cardiovascular mortality rates exceeding the cancer rates.

The individuals who has zero physical activity and spent more and more hours on sitting had more risk of death. Women were discovered to be at 94 percent probability to die while men at 48 percent as compared to those who indulged in more physical action and spent less sitting time.

Dr. Patel explained that longer hours spent sitting, separated of physical action, has shown to have significant metabolic impacts and “may influence things like triglycerides, high density lipoprotein, cholesterol, fasting plasma glucose, resting blood pressure, and leptin, which are biomarkers of obesity and cardiovascular and other chronic diseases.”

The research team concluded that “public health messages and guidelines” should focus on promoting more physical actions and fewer hours spent sitting as “a sizeable fraction of the population” devotes more hours sitting.

“It is beneficial to encourage sedentary individuals to stand up and walk around as well as to reach optimal levels of physical activity,” the team emphasized.

The paper titled “Leisure Time Spent Sitting in Relation to Total Mortality in a Prospective Cohort of US Adults” has been published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

This research comes off only a few weeks after researchers from the Deakin University’s Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (C – PAN) in Australia discovered that sedentary behavior and total sitting time leads to an increased possibility of anxiety disorder.

This study was published in the journal BMC Public Health.

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