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Sitting increases risk of death

Sitting increases risk of death Doctors should prescribe "reduced daily sitting time"

Sitting for long periods of time can sharply increase the risk of dying, according to the latest research.

A study led by the University of Sydney found that adults who sat for 11 or more hours daily had a 40 per cent increased risk of dying in the following three years, as compared to those who sat for fewer than four hours daily.

The study looked at more than 20,000 people, and was adjusted for physical activity, weight, and health status.

Lead author Dr Hidde van deer Ploeg said: "These results have important public health implications.

"That morning walk or trip to the gym is still necessary, but it's also important to avoid prolonged sitting. Our results suggest the time people spend sitting at home, at work and in traffic should be reduced by standing or walking more."

The study's size and focus on total sitting time make it an important contributor to the growing evidence on the downsides of prolonged sitting.

The average adult spends 90 per cent of their leisure time sitting down and less than half of adults meet World Health Organisation physical activity recommendations.

An editorial accompanying the study, which is published today in Archives of Internal Medicine, said the evidence supported doctors prescribing "reduced daily sitting time" to their patients.

The study is published today in Archives of Internal Medicine.

This article was published on Tue 27 March 2012

Image © Sheila Eames - Fotolia.com

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