Sitting kills. Literally.
Though it’s a universal activity we tend to do almost by default, a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that it increases our chances of getting a disease or a condition that will kill us prematurely.
The kicker? Exercising can’t stop it from happening.
Researchers from Toronto discovered the finding after analyzing 47 studies of sedentary behavior. They adjusted their data to incorporate the amount someone exercises and found that the sitting we typically do in a day still outweighs the benefit we get from exercise. But there is at least one silver lining: the more you exercise, the lower the impact of sedentary behavior.
The studies analyzed by researchers revealed that sedentary behavior can lead to death from cardiovascular disease and cancer as well as cause chronic conditions such as Type 2 diabetes. Not to mention, physical inactivity is the fourth-leading risk factor for death for people all around the world, according to the World Health Organization.
Prolonged sitting--which is classified as sitting for 8 to 12 hours or more a day--increases the risk for developing type 2 diabetes by 90 percent.
The study’s authors recommended being more conscious about how much you sit a day in an effort to try to minimize that number as much as possible. For those who sit down most of the time at work, it’s suggested that you try standing at your desk or make it a habit to stand up or walk around for a minute or three once every half hour. And for you couch potatoes out there, use that downtime during commercials to get that lazy butt up and move around the house until your program comes back on.
Whatever you do, just don’t sit (as much).
(Photo: Jose Luis Pelaez, Inc./Blend Images/Corbis)