Sitting Increases Health Risks Independent of Exercise

Growing evidence shows metabolic changes from sedentary time.

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA
Sep 23, 2019

It’s likely you have many clients who work sedentary jobs. Encourage them to simply move as much possible because, according to research,
people who sit for many hours, regardless of whether or not they exercise regularly, are at increased risk of higher liver-fat levels, a leading contributor to type 2 diabetes.

Researchers from England examined whether lower levels of daily physical activity and more sedentary time led to a greater likelihood of metabolic syndrome in young, physically active adults of similar body mass index. Data analysis showed that each additional hour of sedentary time was associated with a 1.15% increase in liver fat, independent of other levels of physical activity and of gender. Study authors recommend finding more strategies to reduce sedentary behavior, in addition to encouraging physical activity.

The study is available in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2019; 51 [6], 1169–77).

See also: Break Up a Sedentary Day With Active Standing


Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at


  1. Avatar Auntie on October 1, 2020 at 8:54 pm


  2. Avatar Dianne on October 1, 2020 at 9:11 pm

    Sitting even if you exercise regularly? Ugh.

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