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Medicine Science

Sit Longer, Die Sooner 341

Posted by timothy
from the hence-supine-on-couch dept.
mcgrew writes "Bad news for most of us here — The Chicago Tribune is reporting that even if you get plenty of exercize, sitting down all day reduces your lifespan. From the article: 'Even after adjusting for body mass index (BMI) and smoking, the researchers found that women who sit more than 6 hours a day were 37 percent more likely to die than those who sit less than 3 hours; for men, long-sitters were 17 percent more likely to die. People who exercise regularly had a lower risk, but still significant, risk of dying. Those who sat a lot and moved less than three and a half hours per day are the most likely to die early: researchers found a 94 percent increased risk for women and 48 percent increase for men, they announced recently in the American Journal of Epidemiology.'"
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Sit Longer, Die Sooner

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 26, 2010 @05:29PM (#33387040)

    the researchers found that women who sit more than 6 hours a day were 37 percent more likely to die than those who sit less than 3 hours; for men, long-sitters were 17 percent more likely to die

    You know... I'm pretty sure everyone is 100% likely to die...

  • by ikarous (1230832) on Thursday August 26, 2010 @07:09PM (#33387970)

    Sitting just hurts.

    I'm young and in good health, so I haven't given much thought to the long term health implications of too much sitting. What I can anecdotally report is that the more time I spend in a chair, the worse I feel. The relationship is almost linear. Not coincidentally, the realization didn't dawn on me until after I graduated from college and began working full time. Before graduation, I spent a lot of time on my feet walking to and from class and to work, since I had the good fortune to have an internship within walking distance of my college campus. This was only eight months ago, but the change in my energy level is very discernible. I can only imagine how pronounced the effect would be when magnified over the course of many years.

    But that's just the job. I imagine that for most of the Slashdot audience, sitting at work is often unavoidable, unless you can afford a nice walkstation setup. What about when you're not actually at your desk, though? Usually, you're still sitting, even if you're going somewhere.

    The biggest sitting problem (for Americans, at least) outside of work is that our cities, our jobs, and even our recreation is not really intended for pedestrians. I love to walk, but many places and jobs are not pedestrian-friendly. I have so grown to loathe driving that my long term plans include moving to a city where it's easier to get places by walking or riding a bike, possibly for this reason alone. Currently I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, which I feel is one of the least walkable areas on the planet (though there are notable neighborhoods that provide exceptions). The metropolitan area has suffered badly from the urban sprawl blight, so if you're lucky enough to live with your romantic partner, chances are, at least one of you is going to have to deal with a commute. The course of my day starts off with a thirty minute drive, followed by sitting on my tush for the subsequent eight hours. Then I drive another forty-five minutes home. Unless I then drive to the nearest gym, which, due to the sprawl here, is likely to be more than six miles away, I'm pretty much stuck indoors again. Side note: a 117 degree heat index does not a happy human make. I have seen Texans drive to their mail box.

    The economic forces that drive sprawl really kill the cores of cities and make life miserable for commuters. My partner is burgeoning traffic engineer, and he's taught me some of the things that walkability projects can do to improve life for both residents and businesses in a city. Suburban Nation is an excellent read on the subject. You can also check out Walkscore [walkscore.com] to see how your neighborhood ranks. It's pretty neat stuff, and I wish more people would care about this issue.

  • by Centurix (249778) <centurixNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday August 26, 2010 @07:09PM (#33387972) Homepage

    Not me. Thanks to denial, I'm immortal.

    You'll need more exorcise than exercise...

  • by MartinSchou (1360093) on Thursday August 26, 2010 @07:29PM (#33388090)

    And that article is NOT linked in the summary in this particular story. Since there is only one article linked in the summary, it is obvious to anyone that that would be THE article in question.

    That you happen to have dug up the actual report, something neither the poster nor the article write did, changes nothing. All the information I have posted and the grand parent wanted, was in the linked article, free to anyone to read.

  • Bad Study (Score:3, Insightful)

    by b4upoo (166390) on Thursday August 26, 2010 @08:48PM (#33388560)

    School kids and college kids would be dropping like flies. They sit a lot.
                                  In older folks with medical issues sitting is a forced situation as death and infirmities tighten their grip. Yes, if you go in a nursing home it is hard to find many inmates that walk more than 30 minutes a day. Then again college students, in order to attend classes and do their studies, often sit more than ten hours a day.
                                  One wonders if these studies took age and illness into consideration? As a matter of fact young folks smart enough to go to college are not involved in active military service and spend less time on motorcycles and scuba diving etc.. I'll bet that non college young folks suffer far greater death rates and those who do not go to college probably stand a lot more hours each day. After all ditch digging offers little sitting time.

  • by mpeskett (1221084) on Thursday August 26, 2010 @09:53PM (#33388850)

    It's a bastardly nitpicking point and I think your point is a good one despite it, but any group consisting mostly of adults will show a higher life expectancy than average because it excludes the hump of child mortality. Vegetarians can probably quite honestly claim to live longer than average, since most vegetarians decide to adopt their diet at some point after infancy, but the same could be said of any other adult group.

    I don't have any data to hand on Buddhist monks, but I'd guess that they tend to already be adults before they get really devoted to it, so the same effect would be at work. But, the fact that they aren't all horribly unhealthy despite the hours of meditation does challenge the idea that physical inactivity directly correlates with mortality.

    Maybe it's the diet; low energy food with a low energy lifestyle has to be better for you than crappy food and 8 hours in an office chair (followed by another hour or two in the car and several more hours sat about at home). Or all the meditation, as against physical inactivity while working; I hear stress can do nasty things to your health.

That does not compute.

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