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Don’t Take Life Sitting Down!

sedentary life image

Sitting around can literally kill you.

When it comes to “risk factors for death” we normally think of smoking, obesity, failing to buckle up and drinking to excess.

According to a recent study by the American Cancer Society, which took 14 years to complete, people who spent at least 6 hours of their daily leisure time sitting died sooner than people who sat less than 3 hours.

And people who both sit a lot and exercise little are at even higher risk of death, find ACS epidemiologist Alpa V. Patel, PhD, and colleagues. The effect is stronger for women than for men, but significant for both sexes.

Patel’s data come from 53,440 U.S. men and 69,776 women who were 50-74 years old when the study began in 1992.

Sitting six hours a day, compared to sitting less than three hours per day:

  • Increased the death rate by about 40% in women
  • Increased the death rate by about 20% in men
  • Increased the death rate by 94% in the least active women
  • Increased the death rate by 48% in the least active men

The increase in deaths was mostly related to heart disease, but the incidence of cancer was also increased.

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

The study findings appear in the July 22 early online edition of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

So given the choice of sitting and moving, stay healthy naturally and keep moving!

Dr. Ed Simon is North Hollywood chiropractor who has been practicing for over 25 years.

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