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Long-time sitting not linked to increased death risk: study

( Xinhua ) Updated: 2015-10-14 10:15:58

Long-time sitting not linked to increased death risk: study

The findings overturned current thinking on the health risks of sitting and indicated that the problem lies in the absence of movement rather than the time spent sitting itself, researchers said. [Photo/IC]

Sitting for long periods is not associated with an increased risk of dying, according to a study recently released by the University of Exeter.

These findings challenge previous research suggesting that the act of sitting itself causes harm even when people routinely walk a lot or do other exercise. The findings also contradict recommendations by Britain's National Health Service (NHS) that remaining seated for too long is bad for your health, regardless of how much exercise you do.

The study followed more than 5,000 participants for 16 years. The participants provided information on total sitting time and on four other specific types of sitting behavior: sitting at work, during leisure time, while watching TV, and sitting during leisure time excluding TV. They were also asked to provide details on daily walking and time spent engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity.

The study showed that over the 16-year follow-up period none of these sitting measures influenced mortality risk.

The findings overturned current thinking on the health risks of sitting and indicated that the problem lies in the absence of movement rather than the time spent sitting itself, researchers said.

Any stationary posture where energy expenditure is low may be detrimental to health, be it sitting or standing, according to the researchers.

"Our findings suggest that reducing sitting time might not be quite as important for mortality risk as previously publicized and that encouraging people to be more active should still be a public health priority," said lead author Dr. Richard Pulsford from the University of Exeter.

The study has been published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

 

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