Are you sitting down? It's slowly killing you
Regular workouts don't decrease death risk if you're also a couch potato
7/23/2010 4:21:11 PM ET
The results show the time people spend on their derrieres is associated with an increased risk of mortality, regardless of their physical activity level.
The findings suggest public health messages should promote both physical activity and less time on the couch, the researchers say.
The current obesity epidemic in the United States has been attributed in part to reduced overall physical activity.
While several studies support a link between sitting time and obesity, type 2 diabetes, risk factors for cardiovascular disease risk and unhealthy dietary patterns in childrenand adults, very few studies have examined time spent sitting in relation to total mortality. Thus, public health guidelines focus largely on increasing physical activity with little or no reference to butt-on-the-chair time.
Alpa Patel, a researcher at the American Cancer Society (ACS), and his colleagues analyzed survey responses from 123,216 individuals (53,440 men and 69,776 women) who had no history of cancer, heart attack, strokeor emphysema that were enrolled in the ACS's Cancer Prevention II study in 1992. Participants were followed from 1993 to 2006.
The researchers examined the participants' amount of time spent sitting and physical activity in relation to mortality over the 13-year period