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Lifestyle

Prolonged sitting to increase risk of early death

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Update: 2019-08-22 17:35:30
Prolonged sitting to increase risk of early death photo collected

DHAKA: Technology lets me—as well as millions of other people—earn a living from the relative comfort of our desks, without having to break a sweat or even stand up. Once the workday is done, we can transition straight from desk to car to couch, taking barely a step in between.

The ease of our modern workday could come at the expense of our longevity.

If you sit for six hours a day or more, your risk of dying early jumps 19 percent, compared with people who sit fewer than three hours, an American Cancer Society study suggests.

And, the study authors added, sitting may kill you in 14 ways, including: cancer; heart disease; stroke; diabetes; kidney disease; suicide; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); lung disease; liver disease; peptic ulcer and other digestive disease; Parkinson's disease; Alzheimer's disease; nervous disorders; and musculoskeletal disorders.

Screen time to increase sitting time

As technology has advanced during the last few decades, sitting time has increased. One Australian study estimated that 90% of non-work time was spent sitting, and more than half of that sitting time was spent on the computer or watching TV. Previous studies have shown that prolonged sitting time raises risk of death even for people who get healthy amounts of moderate or vigorous physical activity when they aren’t sitting.

Physical activity to reduce risk of early death

Previous research found people should move at least every 30 minutes to reduce the chance of premature death, but now the researchers say simply breaking up sedentary periods is not enough – overall time spent seated must be cut to lower the risk.

For kids, the recommendation is at least 60 minutes of moderate- or vigorous-intensity activity each day, with vigorous-intensity activity occurring at least 3 days each week.

 Sit less and move more 

Prolonged sitting has been linked to higher levels of triglycerides, blood sugar, blood pressure and insulin. Sitting has also been tied to inflammation caused by obesity.

These consequences might explain why sitting was linked with death from heart, liver and kidney disease, as well as cancer, diabetes and COPD.

Tips for more movement 

Taking short breaks at work to walk around your office building
Walking up the escalator or stairs instead of taking the elevator
Using the farthest bathroom from your desk

BDST: 1656 HRS, AUG 22, 2019
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