A study done in the U.S. indicates what many have believed for some time: adults who tend to sit most of the day are likely to die earlier than those who don’t sit that much. What this study shows that may be surprising is that exercise habits play no part in the premature death. This indicates that those who simply move around for a few minutes after sitting for a half-hour will have a longer lifespan.
The study was conducted by the Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. Lead author Keith Diaz points out that the results show that everyone, regardless of age or exercise routine, needs to avoid sitting for long periods of time.
Previous studies relied on individuals to record how often they stood up and moved around. This study, however, required participants to wear accelerometers. A total of 7,985 adults over age 45 participated in the study. According to the gathered data, most were sedentary for 77% of their waking hours. Most people averaged a period of 11 minutes of sitting. Only 14% were sedentary for 90 minutes or more. Over the four-year follow up, 240 participants died. Researchers noted that those who were the most sedentary were two times as likely to die prematurely.
Researchers did note that the study wasn’t a controlled experiment, nor did the accelerometers distinguish between people who were sitting and those who were standing.
These findings were published in Annals of Internal Medicine on September 11, 2017.