Sedentary Lifestyle Linked to Early Death

Office Workers and more at risk of host of diseases


More than a million people took part in a study on physical activity that was published in the Lancet. The study classified people according to their levels of activity. The lowest amounts were less than 5 minutes a day, the most being 75 minutes a day.

Researchers then compared this to how many people died after a follow up period of between 2 and 14 years.

The results showed that those who sat for eight hours a day but still remained physically active had a lower risk of early death compared to those who sat for less than eight hours but had no activity. Those with the highest level of risk were those who sat for hours and were also inactive.

Physical inactivity is linked to diabetes, heart disease, mental health issues and even some cancers. In fact, an excessively sedentary lifestyle has a higher mortality rate than smoking, being linked to 5.3 million deaths as year as opposed to 5.1 million.

The global cost for healthcare related to inactivity is estimated to be $67.5bn a year.

Prolonged sitting is also believed to slow the metabolism and alter the body’s way of processing sugar, breaking down fat and maintaining blood pressure.

Last year, a survey was carried out by Get Britain Standing and the British Heart Foundation which found that 45% of women and 37% of men spend less than 30 minutes a day on their feet whilst at work. Over 50% of office workers ate at their desk.

University of Cambridge professor, Ulf Ekelund, who led the Lancet study said “for many people who commute to work and have office based jobs, there is no way to escape sitting for prolonged periods of time.

“For these people in particular, we cannot stress enough the importance of getting exercise, whether it’s getting out for a walk at lunchtime, going for a run in the morning or cycling to work.

“An hour of physical activity per day is the ideal, but if this is unmanageable then at least doing some exercise each day can help reduce the risk.”


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