Sitting More Than 3 Hours Reduces Life Expectancy

Sitting More Than 3 Hours Reduces Life ExpectancySitting More Than 3 Hours Reduces Life Expectancy

The average person sits seven hours each day. Rates may even be higher, and experts warn that too little daily activity can cause serious harm, revealed a study on New York residents.

That estimate may be low, the study authors added, because the data was largely based on what people remembered or admitted to doing.

One local health expert expressed concern. “With simply sitting more than three hours a day, there is a decrease [in] life expectancy,” said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of Women’s Heart Health at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “Moving has become a critical issue for the health of New York, and getting up and walking or taking the stairs needs to be a part of the routine,” HealthDay News reported.

The study, appearing in the publication ‘Preventing Chronic Disease’, was led by Stella Yi of the New York University School of Medicine, with help from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Her team looked at the results of a 2010-2011 survey of almost 3,600 New Yorkers, as well as data from 667 people across the world who agreed to wear gadgets aimed at gauging their time spent moving, or not.

The self-reports from the survey found that people averaged about four hours of sitting in the daytime and another three hours in the evening hours. Residents of the borough of Manhattan spent even more time - about eight hours per day.

Self-reported sitting time was highest among people 65 and older (nearly nine hours), but there was no difference between the sexes in terms of time spent sitting, the researchers said.

Rates were even higher when Yi’s team focused on those who wore the movement-tracking gadgets. On average, those participants were found to be sitting for more than eight hours per day, the team found.

The bottom line, according to researchers: “Interventions for decreasing sitting time are needed to improve health outcomes across all groups.”

The study bolsters an emerging body of research that points to a number of dangers associated with leading a sedentary lifestyle.

Last year, scientists found that people who worked 10 years in sedentary jobs, or jobs that don’t require a lot of energy expenditure, had twice the risk of colon cancer and a 44% increased risk of rectal cancer, compared with people who had never worked sedentary jobs.

And in March, scientists found that the rate of cancers linked to obesity and lack of physical activity, such as cancers of the kidney, pancreas, lower esophagus and uterus, rose every year from 1999 through 2013.