Office workers beware – recent studies have linked long sessions of sitting with the onset of various chronic health conditions. The study was conducted amongst men “down under” (in Australia). In fact, over 63,000 men in the 45 to 65 age range participated in the study, part of an even larger research project involving quarter of a million Aussies.
Time spent seated daily was broken down into categories by two hour increments, and participants also reported their chronic health conditions (if any). What did the results reveal? There was a distinct difference in the amount of chronic conditions reported by those who sat for more than four hours every day versus those who spent less time sitting on a daily basis.
Some of those conditions included diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and high blood pressure. The longer people spent sitting, the more chronic disease they suffered from. Diabetes for example was especially prevalent for those who sit for over 6 hours each day.
Those who sat for over 8 hours every day had an even greater risk of developing various conditions – this was the case not just for office employees, but also other professionals who need to sit all day. Truck drivers for instance are thus forewarned of the potential harm of such long seated periods.
What is the harm in sitting all day caused by? Inactivity and lack of energy output seem to be the primary issues – even individuals with similar BMIs were healthier if their job involved being up and about. Since the study was conducted on adults, more research is needed to see if children are harmed in a similar way by long periods of sitting.
Is it all coincidence? Do these individuals get chronic ailments because they sit, or do they sit because they have chronic ailments? Since this possibility was not addressed in the study, more research is needed to solidify the findings.