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Science Shows Health Consequences Of Sitting too Long May Be Overestimated

Published On October 9 in the  International Journal of Epidemiology,  British Scientists reveal evidence that sitting for a long period of time does not increase risk of death. 3,720 men and 1,142 women were observed over almost two decades, and their sitting habits did not seems to make them at higher risk of death.  This new study goes against current belief that sitting lowers life span, and increases heart disease and back problems.

Leigh Weingus from Elite daily reports the following:

“The study, conducted out of University of Exeter and University College London, looked at data from over 5,000 UK residents over the course of 16 years.

In addition to looking at how much the residents sat every day, researchers took factors like age, general health, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, whether or not residents smoked, diet, alcohol consumption and exercise into account.

The researchers found if people were using London’s public transportation system and spending more time walking (in other words, exercising), the amount of time they sat didn’t seem to have much of an impact on their mortality.”

Kathleen Lees of Science World Report reports what the scientists who conducted the study had to say:

” ‘Our study overturns current thinking on the health risks of sitting and indicates that the problem lies in the absence of movement rather than the time spent sitting itself. Any stationary posture where energy expenditure is low may be detrimental to health, be it sitting or standing,’  said Dr. Melvyn Hillsdon from Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Exeter, in a news release. ‘The results cast doubt on the benefits of sit-stand work stations, which employers are increasingly providing to promote healthy working environments.’ ”

“….The participants were asked to provide information on total sitting time, as well as four other specific types of sitting behavior, including the following, courtesy of the release: sitting at work, sitting during leisure time, sitting while watching TV and sitting during leisure time that did not include TV. They were also asked to report on daily walking activities and time spent engaged in any moderate to vigorous physical activity. Numerous factors were taken into account, as well, including ethnicity, age, gender, general health, socioeconomic status, alcohol consumption and diet.

 ‘Our findings suggest that reducing sitting time might not be quite as important for mortality risk as previously publicised and that encouraging people to be more active should still be a public health priority, ‘ ” concluded lead study author Dr. Richard Pulsford of Sport and Health Sciences at the university.”

Since sitting may not be so dangerous, this could be comforting knowledge for those who cannot walk and sit in a wheel chair most of the time instead.

If you want to know more reasons why people are so concerned about the dangers of sitting, take a look a the video from Youtube channel list25.

About Jason Edgerton

Jason Edgerton
Mr. Edgerton holds a university degree in philosophy. He aims to provide valuable news content for Youth Independent readers.