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Sitting for Long Periods Tied to Higher Risk of Death

Wednesday, November 29, 2017By Richard Alexander

Your spouse just got you one of those new fitness bands for your birthday that reminds you when it’s time to get up and move around. You appreciate the gesture, but you work in a busy office and feel overwhelmed most days. As you’re busy typing up an important report your fitness band buzzes – time to walk around for a few minutes. You push the ignore button and keep working. After another half hour a buzz reminds you again. You ignore it again and continue to do so throughout the day thinking you’ll try to exercise later. It can’t be that important to get up and just move around throughout the day, can it?

A new study shows that it is important to move around throughout the day and that movement breaks every half hour can significantly reduce the mortality risks associated with prolonged periods of sitting. Researchers at the Columbia University Medical Center have found that sitting more than half the day is associated with a higher rate of mortality for middle-aged and older adults, even if those same adults are generally active at other times.

Adults with over 12.5 sedentary hours a day in at least 10 minute increments had the highest risk of mortality. The study found that both total hours of sedentary time and periods of sedentary time throughout the day were the most important contributing factors, even for individuals who exercised on those same days. For people in jobs that require sitting for long periods of time, getting up and moving is the best advice to help reduce their risk of death.

Recent studies have also indicated that intermittent standing throughout the day is as important for disease prevention as exercise. The study notes that it’s not clear why excessive sedentary time may lead to a higher risk of death, but did note that possible factors could include poor blood glucose control and blood vessel damage.

The researchers measured both total sedentary time and periods of sedentary time in participants by mounting an accelerometer on their hip. This method of measuring sedentary periods is more accurate than previous studies that relied on subjects self-reporting their periods of activity. The accelerometer did have some limitations, however, as it could not detect different positions and only collected seven days of data. Nevertheless, the results of the study are profound and indicate that periods of inactivity can cause problems in more than just your waistline. Getting up and moving isn’t just about staying in shape, it can also save your life.

The attorneys at the Alexander Law Group, LLP take pride in providing the public with solid, actionable information that can help people stay healthier and live longer lives. We have years of experience litigating difficult cases. If you or a loved one have been injured, contact us online or call 888.777.1776 for a free case consultation.

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