As seen on CNN, regardless of how regularly and how much you work out, prolonged sitting without making a pause for movement every half hour puts you at a higher risk of earlier death. This was discovered by a new study that was published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
According to the researchers, the study was done with almost 8,000 adult participants. The positive side of the research was the fact that those who spent time sitting less than half an hour had the lowest chance of early death. Let us learn more about this recent discovery.
Why We Need to Move More?
As the American Heart Association recommends, we need to spend less time sitting and more time moving. However, this simple guideline merely tells us that we need to exercise without actually telling us how, which is pivotal. Namely, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that adults perform moderate-intensity aerobic workout for two and a half hours on a weekly basis, as well as exercises for strengthening the muscles on two or more days per week.
The Need for Sitting Guidelines
Similarly to exercise guidelines, we also need tips for sitting, for example, as the study showed, standing up and moving or walking for 5 minutes or so to lower the health risks associated with sitting. However, the research team claims that although this study is one step closer to creating sitting guidelines, more research is necessary to support these findings.
The Link between Aging & Sitting
The REGARDS project was a study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health which was created to discover why African-Americans, especially the ones in the Southern US, are at a greater likelihood of getting a stroke than whites. Keith Diaz, the head of the study and his team tracked 7,985 black and white adult participants at the age of 45 or older for an average of 4 years who participated in the REGARDS project. During the study, the team noted 340 deaths, regardless of the cause.
When the data was analyzed, it was discovered that on average, the individuals spent 12.3 hours sitting during a 16-hour waking day. As Diaz points out, as we age, the physical and mental functions reduce and we become more sedentary. The rather high sedentary average in the study may be in part a result of the fact that they used an activity monitor for tracking the time spent sitting rather than self reports by participants. Unfortunately, the results showed that as the sedentary time elevated, so did the early death by any type of cause and regardless of sex, age, race, BMI, or workout. Believe it or not, the people who sat for more than 13 hours on a daily basis had 200 percent higher chance of death in comparison to those who spent less than 11 hours of sitting.
Be that as it may, as noted on CNN, the ways in which sedentary lifestyle affects our health negatively remains unknown and complex. However, if you have a lifestyle or a job that involves a lot of sitting, one of the best suggestions that Diaz put forward is to move every half hour to lower your risk of premature death.