While everyone knows that a lack of exercise is not good for you, a new study has shown that sitting may actually increase the likelihood of death from a huge number of causes. The study suggests that we need to get more active in our lives to counter all the time we spend sitting.
The study followed nearly 130,000 people for 21 years and examined their habits and what led to their death. Of the 130,000 nearly 50,000 died. Of those who reported the highest amount of sitting time, their likelihood of catching diseases like cancer, heart disease, liver disease, stroke, diabetes, and many many more all increased.
The study pointed to the impact that screens are having on our lives. In the past when we only had televisions we still watched a lot of TV but we did other things as well. Now it appears that we are always on some form of screen and that means always in some form of sitting. Whether we are playing on our phones, watching Netflix or using our computers, we tend to do it sitting.
The study found a 19% increase in all causes of death between those who sat for less than 3 hours per day compared to those who sat for longer than 6. While you may think that you are an avid gym-goer and that will save you, the study found that if you were a consistent gym user but still sat a lot, you were still at increased risk.
It appears the only way to beat the effects of sitting is by not sitting so much. This means that exercise is the answer but that it should be throughout the day. While the gym is great, a light walk later in the day will help as well. One thing that people really should aim for is to take breaks in their sitting. If you have to sit for long periods during work or anything else, try and stand up often and shake it out to break up the lengthy period.
While the reason why sitting is so bad is not clear, there are a number of theories. While sitting you are more likely to do unhealthy things like eating crips and chocolate. Time spent sitting is time spent not doing other things and you should exercise more. Whatever the reason, the solution is clear. Sit less and live longer.