Can sitting shorten your life span? The idea of sitting yourself to an early grave sounds farfetched, though a new study done at the University of Sydney suggests that there may in fact be a correlation between too much sitting and dying of natural causes.
Hidde van der Ploeg, the head of the research team, collected data from over 200,000 adults past the age of 45. From the sample, it was discovered that those who reported sitting for 11 hours or more a day were more likely to experience common health problems than those who sat for just four hours or below.
This doesn’t mean that sitting in itself is hazardous for your health, though the research also suggests that remaining in a sitting position for prolonged periods may increase fats in the blood, thereby lowering metabolism and lowering good cholesterol levels. Factors, such as pre-existing health conditions, lifestyle, and weight were also taken into consideration. The same health problems were observed in those who sat more frequently regardless of these conditions.
Obviously, some people may have a job that requires them to sit for long intervals. This includes most office and secretary positions. This doesn’t mean that you should do your job standing. Just get up and do a little bit of stretching and moving around periodically. If you are sitting down and watching television in your down time, then get up and walk around during a commercial break. This will keep the blood circulating and keep your body from remaining stagnant for too long a period.
It all comes down to common sense. The less your body is moving, the less exercise you are getting. As long as you monitor your daily physical activity and make sure you don’t become a frequent couch potato, then there is nothing to worry about.