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Study links excessive sitting to increased risk of death for women

January 22, 2014

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Ithaca, NY – Inactive women may die sooner than active women, concludes a new study from Cornell University.

Researchers followed 92,234 women 50-79 years old for a minimum of 12 years. Women who spent 11 hours a day being sedentary were 12 percent more likely to die prematurely than women who reported four hours or less of inactivity. Sedentary women also were more likely to die from cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and cancer, researchers found.

The higher risk of death remained when physical mobility and function, chronic disease, and fitness levels were taken into consideration – meaning women who exercise daily may still be in danger if they spend long periods of time sitting each day.

Noting that women begin to lose muscle mass at age 35, researchers said in a press release that being sedentary makes it harder to regain strength. They suggest women disrupt sitting time by taking breaks from the computer and getting up between TV programs.

The study was published online Jan. 7 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.