A bane to office workers everywhere, sitting is quickly becoming public health enemy number one. Several reports have linked sedentary activity with increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and early death. A new study says that even those who exercise daily are at risk for sitting-related problems.
Published in Annals of Internal Medicine (2015; 162 , 123–32), the study aimed to quantify the association between sitting time and disease risk, hospitalization and mortality. The authors also sought to understand the effects of physical activity on regular sitters. After examining data from 47 relevant articles, the researchers determined—not surprisingly—that people who spend a lot of time sitting each day experience greater health risks than those who do not. Perhaps more surprisingly, physical activity doesn’t seem to offer much benefit. “Prolonged sedentary time was independently associated with deleterious health outcomes regardless of physical activity,” the authors wrote.
However, they did note that individuals who achieved little to no physical activity fared worse than their physically active counterparts.