Who does the most sitting everyday? It’s the office workers of course. Now if long sitting periods is bad for the health, according to this research, it won’t be far fetched if we make a conclusion as to which segment of the society is being more at risk if this research is true. It’s not finished yet, but this early, office workers should start doing what the research authors are suggesting to counter the effect of prolonged sitting.
“If you are sitting for most part of the day, you may have shorter life span, even if you exercise”, researchers say.
An in depth analysis involving 41 international research studies done by researchers from Toronto revealed that the number of hours a person sits during the day, the higher the risk of heart disease, diabetes cancer and death notwithstanding if he or she is having regular exercise.
“More than one half of an average person’s day is spent being sedentary — sitting, watching television or working at a computer,” said Dr. David Alter, a senior scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, who helmed the analysis.
“Our study finds that despite the health-enhancing benefits of physical activity, this alone may not be enough to reduce the risk for disease.”
The research paper was published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine. It revealed that keeping sedentary life could increase by 20 to 50 percent the risk of death compared to other causes. People who are inactive are prone to suffer up to 15 to 20 percent more from heart disease, death from heart disease, cancer death from cancer, and as high as 90 percent probability of having diabetes, according to Alter.
The figures were taken including already the effect of regular exercise.
“Avoiding sedentary time and getting regular exercise are both important for improving your health and survival,” said Alter. But engaging in 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous daily exercise does not mean it’s OK to then “sit on your rear” for the rest of the day.
The paper’s authors can’t say how much sitting time is too much — more research is needed to understand what represents a healthy balance between being sedentary and engaging in physical activity.
Research authors are not sure how much sitting is associated with risky health conditions. More research needs to be done in order to understand what strikes as healthy balance between being inactive and engaging in physical activities, the authors explained.
The research also revealed that unhealthy conditions associated with continues sitting are not surprisingly more conspicuous among those who do little exercise or none at all. .
Alter a cardiologist said that public health officials are concentrating too much on encouraging Canadians engage in daily exercise in order to promote good health which includes mostly in strengthening the heart and circulatory system, and also help avoid cancers which include breast and colon cancers.
“We need to get sedentary behavior on our radar and start talking about that, not just exercise,” Alter said.
As a cardiologist, Alter encourages patients to take time to stand up and to remain standing for certain periods of time. Standing up he said, helps burn calories twice as much as sitting down. It helps bones and muscles to become stronger.
“Couch potatoes could try getting up during TV commercials, or perhaps watch the last 15 minutes of a hockey game standing.”
For more of the findings about the report, you can read the complete report from Monday’s edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine where it was published.