News / Health

Study Links Long-term Sitting to Chronic Disease

A recently published study has linked prolonged sitting time with the likelihood of developing chronic diseases.
A recently published study has linked prolonged sitting time with the likelihood of developing chronic diseases.
Rick Pantaleo
The more you sit each day, the greater your risk of developing a chronic disease, according to a new study.

Researchers from Australia and the United States say prolonged sitting increases the likelihood of developing potentially deadly diseases and conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.

“For some of these conditions...we saw this kind of stair step increase that, at the high levels of sitting you saw higher odds of having the disease, certainly that was true for diabetes," says Richard Rosenkranz from Kansas State University. "And then we saw increased risk at higher levels for high blood pressure as well as for any chronic disease.”

The World Health Organization blames sedentary lifestyles for approximately two million deaths each year and considers physical inactivity to be one of the 10 leading causes of death and disability worldwide.

The study also revealed that exercising every morning for 30 minutes doesn't alleviate the risk if a person spends the next eight hours sitting at a desk.

“We’re trying to say that, not only do we need to continue to tell these messages about getting in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity like walking or cycling or some exercise at the gym," Rosenkranz says, "we also need to be thinking about finding ways not to sit so much during the day.”

Many of today’s job opportunities have shifted from requiring physical effort to mostly involving sitting and working at a desk all day. However, office work isn’t the only type of occupation that requires prolonged sitting. The researchers also singled out truck drivers who are forced to sit for long periods of time.
 
Rosencranz has developed a plan to alleviate his own personal risk.

"I have a sit/stand workstation where in two seconds I can go from sitting to standing," he says. "I just move all of my monitors, slide it up on this thing and I can stand and work for a while and break up the periods of sitting.”

While he's found a personal solution, Rosenkranz believes health problems brought on by physical inactivity need to be addressed on a much broader scale.

“We’re going to have to realize as a society that having a lot of people sitting around all the time is a health risk and it’s going to cost us money, it’s going to cost us quality of life and we’re going to have to do something about that," he says. "And so there will be, I believe, social norm changes, cultural changes where it’s OK in a meeting to get up and stand up or stand in the back of the room, take a break from just sitting on our duffs [posteriors] all the time.”

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More