The evidence is quickly mounting that prolonged sitting is a massive driver of chronic disease risk, and this month brings us yet further support. In a study that included over 63,000 adult males – those who sat for more than four hours a day were much more likely to have diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or high blood pressure than those who sat less than four hours a day. Investigators saw a clear “dose response relationship” between sitting and disease risk with those sitting more than eight hours a day showing the highest risk.
To give you proper perspective based on the current evidence, regardless of your weight or health status, if you sit for 7 or more hours a day it increases your risk of chronic diseases on par with being a regular smoker or being obese. Currently over 50% of our population sits more than 7 hours a day! Bottom line: To maintain good health you must engage in regular physical activity and avoid prolonged sitting. Here are my best tips to help you stand up to sitting. (International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity online February 2013)