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Sitting for Long Periods Associated with Chronic Diseases

A study led by Richard Rosenkranz, assistant professor, analyzed the relation of sitting time and chronic diseases in middle-aged Australian males. The findings showed that the more time was spent in sitting as indicated by the participants, the more reported chronic diseases increased. This study is especially relevant to office desk workers as well as those who have prolonged sitting time like truck drivers.

The study involved more than 60,000 males from New South Wales with ages ranging from 45 to 65 years old. The participants reported for chronic diseases they have at present, if any, along with their daily sitting time, classified into less than 4 hours, 4-6 hours, 6-8 hours, or more than 8 hours of sitting.

The results showed the likelihood of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and hypertension for those who sat for more than 4 hours per day. Those who sat for at least 6 hours have greater possibility of having diabetes.

Findings were consistent in those who had the same income, education, age, level of physical activity, height and weight. Despite similar body mass index, participants who had longer sitting time had more chronic diseases versus those who sat less.

According to Rosenkranz, although physically active people have lesser risk of chronic disease versus those who are less active, reduction in sitting time should be considered as well.  Prolonged sitting may be harmful to health due to inactivity and low energy levels expended.

Rosenkranz explained that the study concentrated on males as they have higher rates of heart disease and diabetes.  He added that the study could benefit all adults in general.

The team however concluded that evidences presented suggest casual association and they have yet to ascertain whether the amount of sitting time led to development of chronic disease or vice-versa.



Kansas State University. Office workers beware: Sitting time associated with increased risk of chronic diseases. ScienceDaily.

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