According to a 2017 study, sitting for more than one hour without moving can also increase your risk for premature death. Thankfully, there are ways to prevent the dangers of sedentariness.
The study, which was published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, found that sitting too long may increase mortality risk. Other studies have also found proof of the connection between prolonged periods of sitting and mortality.
In the study, researchers observed 7,985 American adults. The participants' sedentary time was tracked using a hip-mounted accelerometer.
Data from the device was then compared to the volunteers' “objective amount of sedentary activity with all-cause mortality.”
The researchers followed up with the participants, and they verified the adverse effects of sedentary behavior. Those who sat continuously for 60 minutes or more had a higher risk of premature death, unlike the other volunteers who took a movement break about once every half hour, even if the latter had the same total sitting time as the former.
The findings also suggest that a “greater total sedentary time” was linked to a greater risk for “all-cause mortality.”
The researchers concluded that sitting too long without engaging in physical activity increases one's risk for all-cause mortality and that working out regularly can help offset the harmful side effects of prolonged inactivity and risk of premature death. (Related: Offset the health risks of your desk job by exercising whenever you can.)
In a separate study in the Journal of American Epidemiology, scientists analyzed data from over 8,000 volunteers.
The results showed that low-intensity exercise helps counteract the negative effects of 30 minutes of sedentary behavior by about 17 percent. The researchers defined low-intensity exercise as physical activity that elevates your max heart rate by at least 40 to 50 percent.
The findings also revealed that moderate- to high-intensity exercise helps minimize your risk of early death by more than one-third.
Follow these tips so you can stay fit even if you sit in front of a computer for most of the day.
The adverse effects of a sedentary lifestyle, such as a greater risk for cancer, diabetes, and premature death, can be minimized by increasing your physical activity.
If you have a desk job, follow a balanced diet and take frequent exercise breaks at work to boost your overall health and lower your risk of early death.