If you work sitting in front of the computer, beware! One study showed that sitting for six to eight hours a day increases the risk of early death and heart disease by 12-13%. Anyone who sits more than eight hours a day increases that risk by a worrying 20%.
The survey was carried out with more than 100,000 people from 21 countries and was published in the journal Jama Cardiology on Wednesday (15). According to the authors, the association of physical inactivity with health problems was more pronounced in low-income and lower-middle-income countries. According to them, meeting the WHO (World Health Organization) recommendations for physical activity could effectively mitigate the risk of high sitting time.
How the study was done
- In January 2003, 105,677 participants from 21 countries were recruited. They were aged between 35 and 70 at the time and were followed until August 2021. Participants were from 21 different countries, from low, middle and high incomes.
- Daily sitting time was measured using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire.
- During a median follow-up of 11.1 years, 6233 deaths and 5696 major cardiovascular events (2349 myocardial infarctions, 2966 strokes, 671 heart failure and 1792 cardiovascular deaths) were documented.
- Compared with the reference group (less than 4 hours per day sitting), longer sitting time (8 hours per day or more) was associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events.
- When analyzed by country income levels, the association of sitting time with poor health was stronger in low-income and lower-middle-income countries.
- Those who sat the longest and were the least active had the highest risk (up to 50%), while those who sat the longest but were also the most active had a substantially lower risk of around 17%.
problem is global
In a statement, Scott Lear, a professor of health sciences at Simon Fraser University in Canada, who co-led the study, said “the overarching message here is to minimize how much you sit.” “If you have to sit all that time, doing more exercise at other times of day will offset that risk,” he said.
Doctors should focus on recommending less sitting and more physical activity, he said, as it is a low-cost intervention that can have enormous benefits.
“Our study found that a combination of sitting time and physical inactivity was responsible for 8.8% of all deaths, which is close to the contribution of smoking (10.6%). It is a global problem that has a remarkably simple solution. Scheduling a time to get out of that chair is a great start,” he said.