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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid