Everybody out of the typing pool! A new study finds that if you sit less than three hours per day, it will add two years to your life. According to Bloomberg Business Week:
“It’s about the inactivity in your muscles,” [Peter] Katzmarzyk, a professor of epidemiology at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, said yesterday in a telephone interview. “When you’re sitting your legs are completely inactive. It’s not just about getting physical activity in your life. Just because you’re doing 30 minutes of physical activity, what about the other 23.5 hours,” he said. “Don’t just sit the rest of the day.”
Prevalence of sitting all day is widespread. NHANES is US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Other finds in the study, Sedentary behaviour and life expectancy in the USA: a cause-deleted life table analysis include the fact that watching TV less than two hours a day will increase your lifespan by 1.38 years.
Although judging by the prevalence of people who spend every non-working and non-sleeping hour watching TV, I wonder what they would do with the extra time if they gave it up. But we have to do something; Katzmarzyk concludes:
Given that the results from objective monitoring of sedentary time in the NHANES has indicated that adults spend an average of 55% of their day engaged in sedentary pursuits, a significant shift in behaviour change at the population level is required to make demonstrable improvements in life expectancy.