Maybe those of us who sit for long hours in meetings, on phone calls, and tapping away at keyboards should be getting hazard pay. New research that distills the findings of 47 studies concludes that those of us who sit for long hours raise our average risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and early death.
Watching television for many hours a day was associated with an increased risk for premature death in a study of healthy young adults, while computer use and time spent driving showed no significant association with higher mortality. Study participants who reported watching 3 or more hours of television daily had a twofold increased death risk over 8 years of follow-up, compared with participants who said their viewing time did not exceed 1 hour a day (incidence rate ratio [IRR] 2.04, 95% CI 1.16-3.57), researcher Miguel Angel Martinez-Gonzales, MD, PhD, of the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, and colleagues wrote in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Over the past few years, health experts have warned that spending an excessive amount of time sitting—regardless of whether one gets sufficient exercise or not—can kill. Now, a study released Monday puts a number on it: two years. An analysis of five large-scale studies following about 2 million people in several different countries found that the life expectancies of people who said they spent more than three hours a day sitting were two years less than people who spent less than three hours sitting daily.