Yet another study has been published validating how bad sitting is. Of course, we’ve known for years now just how bad sitting is, Dr. James Levine built a solid case in his book Get UP.
This new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, this month tried to learn if it is the total sitting time or the length of each sitting session that is so damaging to our health.
What was so impressive about this study (conducted at Columbia University) was the 7,985 subjects, black and white adults all over 45 years old, were able to be tracked for 4 years. The subjects wore accelerometers on their hips so the researchers could understand not just sitting time, but when they got up and sat back down, thus how long each bout of sitting lasted.
The researchers found that 52% of sitting sessions lasted less than 30 minutes, 22% lasted between 30 and 60 minutes, 14% lasted 60-90 minutes and 14% went longer than 90 minutes. The subjects averaged sitting 77% of their waking hours!
Those who racked up the most sitting time died during the study period while those who spent the least amount of time sitting were more likely to be alive. That is consistent with what we already knew about sitting.
This is quite shocking, considering how many people don’t even take their 10 minute breaks some days. Knowledge is power. If you must sit, make sure to get up and move around every 20 minutes, even if it’s just to shake a leg, or a quick stretch. A walk around the block would be ideal, but don’t go longer than 20 minutes without moving. In short: sit less, move more.