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Stand up: It's good for your health

Photo courtesy: sxc.hu

Photo courtesy: sxc.hu


Monday, January 20, 2014, 6:55 -

Don't sit down to read this!

Staying seated for as long as we do -- hour after hour, day after day -- may be slowly chipping away years of our lives.

A study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine says that sitting as much as we do may even be killing us.

The researchers compared women who sat 11 hours a day to women who only sat for four, and the results are astonishing.

The group that stayed seated had a:

  • 13% increased change of cardiovascular disease
  • 27% increased chance of coronary heart disease
  • and a 21% increased chance of cancer

Those are no small numbers  -- and all of these health problems are associated with high mortality rates.

Experts hope the findings will serve as a reminder to stand up and walk around throughout the work day.

WHY IS SITTING BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH?

A 2009 study by Obesity found that overweight individuals sit an average of 2.5 hours longer per day than lean individuals.

Research suggests that prolonged sitting is associated with metabolic syndrome, a combination of the medical disorders that can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. 

A study by PLOS ONE last year confirmed that people who spent more time being sedentary were 73 percent more likely to develop metabolic syndrome.

A recently-published Australian study that tracked 12,000 adults suggests every hour of sedentary behaviour takes 22 minutes off your life.


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By comparison, smoking one cigarette takes about 11 minutes off a person's life. 

Experts say that taking two-minute walks every 20 minutes may improve your body's ability to burn calories by as much as twenty percent.

Wearing a pedometer and taking 10,000 steps a day can help off-set the risks associated with prolonged sitting.

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