We all know sedentary life isn’t exactly healthy and health experts continuously advise against. But a new study comes to show exactly how it impacts your life span. Experts say sit less to live longer, as their research shows reducing your sitting time to less than three hours a day could increase your life span by two years.
Ask yourself how much time you spend sitting on an average day. Chances are you’re doing it a lot more than you’d think and as a new research suggests, it is costing you more than you believe. Yes, watching TV on your couch counts too. In fact, by reducing your TV time to less than two hours a day, your life span increases by 18 months.
Based on data about health and lifestyle for 167,000 people in the U.S., researchers managed to find out how much time adults spend sitting down. Health experts have long recommended people to sit less and reduce the time spent watching TV to cut the risk of developing diabetes or even suffering a heart attack.
Dr. Peter Katzmarzyk, lead author of the study, explained: “The results of this study indicate extended sitting time and TV viewing may have the potential to reduce life expectancy”. In fact, the data showed 27 percent of the deaths studied were linked to spending time sitting down. TV viewing was linked to a whopping 19 percent.
Pennington Biomedical Research Center’s Dr. Katzmarzyk said that “adults spend an average of 55 percent of their day engaged in sedentary pursuits”. With that in mind, only “a significant shift in behavior” could prove “improvements in life expectancy” are possible.
But don’t imagine working out while still spending the same amount of time sitting down would help. Katzmarzyk says life expectancy was reduced despite getting exercise. In fact, while for the most of us, sitting down is the ultimate way of relaxing, the research at hand shows it’s a highly dangerous behavior.
“It’s right in the same ballpark as smoking and obesity – sedentary behavior is in the same category. Smoking is still the Number One risk factor, but sitting is catching up” said Dr. Katzmarzyk about early death factors.