A study has shown that we are sitting too much. There are more than 400,000 deaths per year in the world because we are sitting on average 13 hours per day. About 7.5 hours are spent sitting at work, but after work we are spending another 5.5 hours on average watching TV at home or sitting in front of the computer.
Studies about the effect of prolonged sitting
- The Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine, Brazil published a study about sitting in 2016. They examined the risk of sitting for more than 3 hours per day. They utilized 54 national adult surveys spanning over 9 years. Sitting time contributed to 3.8% of all cause mortality. This translated into 433,000 deaths/year on average for these 54 countries. The authors also calculated that elimination of sitting time would add 0.2 years of life expectancy in these countries. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27017420
- A 2012 study noted that sitting added a 2.12-fold risk of getting diabetes. There was a 2.47-fold risk of getting heart attacks. And there was a 1.9-fold risk of dying from a heart attack. The all-cause mortality risk was 1.49-fold. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22890825
- A Sept. 12, 2017 CNN article summarized research by Dr. Diaz from the Annals of Internal Medicine.This US study followed the habits of 7985 black and white adults aged 45 years or older. They had hip-mounted accelerometers to monitor their body posture. This way the researchers could monitor what time intervals the subjects were sitting and moving about. People were sitting 12.3 hours in an average 16-hour day. The average stretch of sitting was 11.4 minutes.
- Those who sat for more than 13 hours per day had a 200% greater risk of death than those who sat for less than 11 hours per day.
- Those who sat in stretches of less than 30 minutes at a time had less than 55% lower risk of death than those who sat for more than 30 minutes at a time.
- People who sat more than 90 minutes at a time had a risk of death that was 2-fold higher than those who sat less than 90 minute stretches.
Dr. Diaz said: “If you have a job or lifestyle where you have to sit for prolonged periods, the best suggestion I can make is to take a movement break every half hour. Our findings suggest this one behavior change could reduce your risk of death.”
Sitting is the enemy of modern life. The statistics are quite appalling. Sitting for only 13 hours has a 200% greater risk of death than sitting less than 11 hours per day. Dr. Diaz who conducted a study in the US found that the best advice he could give is to take a 5-minute break every 30 minutes. Those who have a desk job could also consider the introduction of a “standing desk”. It does not solve all the problems, and doing a few stretches or walking around is still a necessity!
Avoiding back pain by relaxed sitting: http://www.askdrray.com/avoiding-back-pain-by-relaxed-sitting/