According to a recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, sitting down for several hours a day increases your risk of dying.
The study, which followed 222,497 Australian adults for several years, found that individuals who sat for at least 11 hours a day had a 40% higher risk of dying within the next three years than people who sat for less than four hours a day.
And exercise doesn’t necessarily mitigate this risk. While regular exercisers had a lower risk of death than non-exercisers, the death risk still rose for active people who sat longer. In other words, your 30 or 60-minute gym routine doesn’t necessarily counteract the increased mortality risk from excessive sitting.
According to the researchers, excessive sitting can’t be blamed entirely on long work hours. In fact, it’s estimated that the average adult spends 90% of their leisure time sitting. And, if you think about the time we spend reading, watching TV, playing computer games or chatting on social networks, I’d have to agree.
The takeaway is pretty simple: Spend more time on your feet. While a stand-up desk could help, it’s important to shift our leisure time into more active pursuits – like taking hikes, walking, playing sports or enjoying the outdoors.