Thursday, March 19, 2015

Why Sitting Too Much Is Bad For Health?

A paper, which was published January 20, 2015 in the ‘Annals of Internal Medicine’ by Canadian Researchers, reported that longer sedentary time would increase the average risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) or Type-2 diabetes after reviewing 47 studies. Meta-analyses were performed on outcomes for cardiovascular disease and diabetes in 14 studies, cancer in 14 studies, and all-cause mortality in 13 studies.

The effect of sedentary time, according to the study, is cumulative. Some people who sat for fewer than 8 hours a day were shown to have a 14 percent lower risk for being sick enough to be sent to hospital. People who had regular exercise would ease some of the damage, even if they still spent too much time sitting. As compared to those with lower levels of physical activity, people who had higher levels of physical activity had a 30 percent lower risk for all-cause mortality.

Previous studies have indicated that sitting too much would raise the risk of obesity, disability, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. 

On June 25, 2014, researchers from the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain found that television (TV) viewing was directly associated with all‐cause mortality. After taking into account of the age, sex, smoking, obesity and diet, participants were 44 percent more likely to die from heart disease or stroke, 21 percent more likely to die of cancer and 55 percent more likely to die from something else, for every 2 extra hours of watching TV over and above a hour a day. Their findings were published in the ‘Journal of the American Heart Association’.

In 2014, another study by researchers from the University of Regensburg in Germany reported that the average American raises the risk of colon cancer by 8 percent, of endometrial cancer by 10 percent and of lung cancer by 6 percent, for every two hours spent sitting in front of the computer or TV. The paper can be found in the ‘Journal of the National Cancer Institute’.

Animal studies suggested that activities like watching TV might affect how the body manages cholesterol or carbohydrates, or it might raise inflammation that is linked with cancer and heart disease. Comparing to driving a car or doing work on a computer, television is a very passive activity. Other studies have actually shown that watching TV could lower the metabolism than even sitting and doing nothing.

Hence, people should watch less TV and exercise more. As recommended by most health organizations including the American Heart Association, adults should have at least 150 minutes of weekly physical activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more. Meanwhile, there are many ways one can raise the level of physical activity in his or her daily life. For instance, he or she could take stairs instead of the elevator.

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