Sitting all day may be killing you – this is important

An important study about how sitting is bad for you was published in the ‘International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity’.  It was by written by a couple of researchers from the School of Science and Health, University of Western Sydney and the Department of Human Nutrition, Kansas State University .

This powerful study involved over 63,000 Australian men ranging in age from 45 to 65.  The researchers questioned them about whether or not they had various chronic diseases.  They also asked how many hours they spent sitting down each day either at work and then once they got home.  It will not surprise you to know that the study revealed those who sat for 4 hours or less every day were less likely to have a chronic condition.  These chronic conditions were as important, and debilitating, as cancer, diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure.

The science:

The study says:

“Sitting time was significantly associated with cancer (P for trend = 0.015) in the crude model.”


“In comparison to those reporting <4 hours of sitting time per day, participants who reported 6 to <8 hours of sitting time were significantly more likely to report ever having heart disease (OR 1.13, 95% CI 1.03 – 1.23, p = 0.007).”

Worryingly, the men who sat for at least six hours daily were at significantly greater risk for diabetes:

“The likelihood of reporting diabetes increased with increasing sitting time across all three models. Compared with those reporting <4 hours of sitting time, participants reporting 4 to <6 (OR 1.12, 95% CI 1.03 – 1.23, p = 0.010), 6 to <8 (OR 1.19, 95% CI 1.08 – 1.31, p <0.001), and ≥8 hours of sitting time per day (OR 1.15, 95% CI 1.06 – 1.25, p = 0.001) were significantly more likely to report ever having diabetes.”

The conclusion:

In their conclusion they write:

“Our findings suggest that higher volumes of sitting time are significantly associated with diabetes and overall chronic disease, independent of physical activity and other potentially confounding factors.”

Also, the number of chronic diseases reported increased along with sitting time. This was true even after the investigators took the men’s physical activity level, age, income, education, weight and height into account.

The group sitting more than eight hours clearly had the highest risk.

No surprise that according to the World Health Organization (WHO) 150 minutes or more of moderate-intensity and/or vigorous-intensity physical activity on a weekly basis is conducive to gaining health benefits in adults aged between 18 and 64 years.

So, come to the clinic and ask about a standing desk (or height adjustable desk) and get one.  Then get out and do some exercise. (Please).

The full report is here:

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