Washington D.C.: Can couch potato-ness take your life? A new study says yes and also reveals that by reducing sitting time, one can add years to life.
The University of Sao Paulo research found that sitting for more than three hours per day is responsible for 3.8 percent of all-cause mortality deaths. Investigators also estimate that reducing sitting time to less than three hours per day would increase life expectancy by an average of 0.2 years.
In order to properly assess the damaging effects of sitting, the study analyzed behavioral surveys from 54 countries around the world and matched them with statistics on population size, actuarial table, and overall deaths.
Researchers found that sitting time significantly impacted all-cause mortality, accounting for approximately 433,000, or 3.8 percent, of all deaths across the 54 nations in the study.
They also found that sitting had higher impact on mortality rates in the Western Pacific region, followed by European, Eastern Mediterranean, American, and Southeast Asian countries, respectively.
Lead investigator Leandro Rezende said that it was observed that even modest reductions, such as a 10 percent reduction in the mean sitting time or a 30-minute absolute decrease of sitting time per day, could have an instant impact in all-cause mortality in the 54 evaluated countries, whereas bolder changes would represent at least three times fewer deaths versus the 10 percent or 30-minute reduction scenarios.
Rezende said that the present findings support the importance of promoting active lifestyles (more physical activity and less sitting) as an important aspect for premature mortality prevention worldwide, and therefore the need for global action to reduce this risk factor.
The study is published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine....