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Prolonged sitting, even for regular exercisers, increases risk of death: study

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Photo: TARIK KIZILKAYA/iStockphoto

Atlanta — Prolonged leisure-time sitting, even among people who work out regularly, increases the risk of death from all causes, according to a recent study from the American Cancer Society.

Researchers reviewed data from the CPS-II Nutrition Cohort, which included more than 127,000 American men and women who were “free from major chronic disease” when the long-term study began more than two decades ago. Nearly 49,000 participants have died since follow-up studies began in 1993.

Results showed that those who reported sitting for six or more hours a day had a 19 percent higher rate of death from all causes combined than individuals who said they sat less than three hours a day. Risks of death were higher from cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease, suicide, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonitis due to inhalation of solids and liquids, liver disease, peptic ulcer and other digestive diseases, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, nervous disorders, and musculoskeletal disorders.

“Emerging evidence supports that sitting time is a behavioral risk factor that is distinct from inadequate exercise (i.e. physical inactivity) and could be an important additional target for intervention in the effort to increase daily physical activity in the population,” the release states.

The study was published June 26 in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

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