This might be quite a bold statement, however after a recent study carried out in Australia of more than 200,000 men and women suggests that people that sit down for more than 10 hours a day had a 48% increase in risk of death compared to more active people who sit for less than four hours a day. Even when exercise was taken into account, it was often the case that this had no impact on the statistics.
The study carried out by the University of Sydney found that people with more active jobs, for example gardeners, builders, plumbers etc… were less likely to be effected than those who were “chained” to their office desk or office chair.
If you do not think that you fall into the category of 10/11 hours a day, don’t just think about the time at work. Take into account whether you drive to work and how long it takes. It is also worth thinking about whether you sit in front of the TV or not and if so, for how long you do. Once adding up the amount of time you spend sitting, most of us who work the average 8 hour days at work will find themselves falling into the 11 hour a day category.
It is vital that people in this situation begin to integrate extra physical activity into their lives. The current recommendation is around an hour of physical activity a day. This may seem like a lot on the surface of it; however this includes walking and menial tasks.
There is no concise answer to why sitting for long period’s increases risk of death, however the current theory is that there is a direct relationship with blood sugar levels. When you eat, the food is broken down and the sugar enters your blood stream. When you are engaging in physical activity the sugar is taken to the muscles and liver however when you are seated in your swivel chair or at your desk and not doing any physical activity the sugar stays in your blood giving you a high sugar level.
More research needs to be done into this as more and more people are choosing to work in the office as their chosen profession.