In case your clients need more reason to get up every hour or so for a glass of water or a quick walk: Long sitting spells have now been linked to kidney disease.

According to a population-based study conducted in Leicester, England, adults aged 40–75 years who sat for more than 8 hours each day had a significantly higher risk of kidney disease than those who sat for less than 3 hours daily. Researchers also observed a gender divide: The risk reduction was 30% for women and just 15% for men. Men who sat all day, however, could reduce their disease risk 30% by participating in moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity—such as brisk walking or running—for at least 30 minutes per day, whereas regular exercise did not seem to have a protective effect for women.

“This study suggests that higher levels of physical activity and lower levels of sitting time are associated with a lower prevalence of [chronic kidney disease] independently of each other and other risk factors,” the researchers concluded. “However, results may vary by sex, with sitting time being the more important factor in women and physical activity the more important factor in men. These results have important implications for future research.”

The study appeared in American Journal of Kidney Diseases (2012; 60 [4], 583–90).