Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Get HideMyAss! VPN, PC Mag's Top 10 VPNs of 2016 for 55% off for a Limited Time ×
Medicine Science

Prolonged Sitting and Poor Sleep Can Work Together To Shorten Your Life (latimes.com) 115

schwit1 sends word that a new study published in PLOS Medicine has examined how lifestyle risk factors can affect mortality rates, both alone and in combination with each other. Having a single major risk factor increased mortality rates slightly, but the study found that those who report multiple risk factors are significantly more likely to die early. While this includes obvious behavior like smoking and alcohol consumption, the findings also suggest prolonged sitting and unhealthy sleep patterns can strongly increase mortality rates when combined with each other, or with the obvious behaviors. "Some combinations were more deadly than others, the researchers found. Those who blended insufficient exercise with prolonged sitting were 2.42 times more likely to die during the study, and those who were also guilty of sleeping for too many hours were 4.23 times more likely die by the time the study ended. 'These findings suggest there is a "synergistic effect" among risk factors,' the study authors wrote."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Prolonged Sitting and Poor Sleep Can Work Together To Shorten Your Life

Comments Filter:
  • I'm sick and tired of people telling me not to get sick and tired!

  • by Anne Thwacks ( 531696 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @03:48AM (#51086939)
    In all probability, people sleeping far too little or far too much are probably already sick. Similarly, people who spend a lot of time sitting may well do so because they have limited ability to exercise due to other health problems.

    The medical profession has a problem understanding the difference between correlation and causation, and this is just one example of it.

    • by jandersen ( 462034 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @04:33AM (#51087053)

      By the same token, you don't get fat by eating too much - you eat too much because being fat makes you do it, right? It is correct that correlation is not proof of causation; but it narrows the choices down - correlation means things are connected, one way or the other. Either one causes the other, or they share a root cause. Which one you decide to go with is up to your own judgement - considering what we already know about things like the harmful effects of stress and the benefits of exercise, I would say it is more plausible that avoiding sitting down is better for your health, and that getting a good night's sleep is essential in avoiding stress - the reason for the latter being that if you feel tired due to lack of sleep, you are less able to cope with problems (which makes you feel stressed out) and you try to compensate by eating energy rich food (=too many calories, especially sugar) and drinking beverages with caffeine, which tend to ruin your sleep.

      Could there be causation in the opposite direction? No doubt - but I think it mostly goes the other way.

      • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @04:51AM (#51087087)

        Actually, fat is implicated in increased hunger by numerous studies.

        " Scientists from the Lawson Health Research Institute (part of the University of Western Ontario) believe that they have found the reason that people with extra belly fat are hungrier than others. According to their study published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), fat cells around the abdomen produce an appetite-inducing hormone known as Neuropeptide Y (NPY)."

        • That is probably true, but note that fat in the body is NOT the same thing as fat in the diet. (This is the fallacy that's led to decades of bad nutritional advice, leading to an increase in the very problems it was trying to solve.)

      • correlation means things are connected, one way or the other. Either one causes the other, or they share a root cause.

        Nope. Sometimes it's just down to coincidence.

        • Sometimes it's just down to coincidence

          Sometimes - but pure coincidence, or chance, is not likely to be persistent. It's like rolling dice: you may get a series of sexes, but if it goes on indefinitely, then the suspicion must be that there is something dodgy going on.

          • by mwehle ( 2491950 )

            Sometimes - but pure coincidence, or chance, is not likely to be persistent. It's like rolling dice: you may get a series of sexes, but if it goes on indefinitely, then the suspicion must be that there is something dodgy going on.

            You know, if I roll dice and get a series of sexes I'm going to conclude something dodgy is going on right there - no need for persistence.

      • Ever known anyone who had to take steroids (not the anabolic kind) on a long-term basis? They all gain fat in a very specific pattern - their face and shoulders, as well as their abdomens. So yes, if your hormonal signals cause your body to store massive amounts of energy as fat, you will have to choose between being chronically energy-deprived (i.e., hungry all the time) and eating a lot more.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        cravings, blood sugar, hormones, biological stressors, emotional stressors, diet (high fat, low fat, carb)

        complex problems = hard solutions, but thanks for playing

    • Similarly, people who spend a lot of time sitting may well do so because they have limited ability to exercise due to other health problems.

      Yeah, the first thing I thought was, "Well, maybe the more unhappy your life is, the more of these kinds of behaviors you're likely to engage in."

      If you find that A and B are correlated, you have to ask if A caused B, or B caused A, or if there's a third thing C, which is causing both B and A. Either being chronically unhappy, or being ill, are things which could both

    • by nbauman ( 624611 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @10:23AM (#51087931) Homepage Journal

      You beat me to it.

      Citation needed.

      http://www.healthnewsreview.or... [healthnewsreview.org]

      "Frequent fish consumption was associated with a 50% reduction in the relative risk of dying from a heart attack." Her editor's reaction? Slash. Too wordy, too passive. The editor's rewrite? "Women who ate fish five times a week cut their risk of dying later from a heart attack by half."

        https://www.elsevier.com/conne... [elsevier.com]

    • by nbauman ( 624611 )

      This is what happens when you adapt computerized records in medical practice using more money than brains, as we do here in the U.S.

      You quickly get huge databases of patients. Any medical resident looking for a cheap, easy journal publication can take a medical record database, run some standard statistical packages, and spit out correlations at p LT 0.05. https://xkcd.com/882/ [xkcd.com]

      Then they say, "Our statistical software https://blog.stackoverflow.com... [stackoverflow.com] corrected for cigarette smoking and every other known fac

      • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

        This is the kind of thing that makes many people to be skeptical of "scientific" findings, or when people claim "the science is settled".

        Please don't take that as an opportunity to jump on my comment as if I'm a "denier". I'm not. But, I have lost some faith in peer review because many experimental claims seem to be getting taken as fact without further verification. Repeatable results matter, but nobody gets funded to recreate results because there's no glory in it.

        • Experimental claims are taken as fact by who? Usually, what I see is a headline about a scientific study, with no link to the actual papers, and no follow-up through a citations index. It seems to me that many people's problems with scientists actually have problems with journalism.

    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      People sleeping too long probably have an underlying condition. People sleeping too little probably have an alarm clock and a screwed up work-life balance.

      As for exercise, they may have an underlying condition or it may be that work-life balance thing again.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    We say that excessive sitting is unhealthy. However, modern lifestyles encourage excessive sitting, despite its dangers. Some say it's as bad as smoking. However, we spend eight or nine hours each weekday at work, and the high paying jobs tend to involve lots of sitting. We also spend lots of time in commute, perhaps 30-45 minutes each way, sitting in a car stuck in traffic. It's really easy to spend ten or more hours per day sitting. While I understand that sustaining our modern way of life requires more u

  • by Maow ( 620678 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @03:53AM (#51086949) Journal

    I probably won't even make it to the end of this post.

    On the other han

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Keep them sleep deprived and standing. It's for their own good.

    Baloney.

  • by SydShamino ( 547793 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @04:04AM (#51086995)

    I love that a story about how poor sleep habits and sitting too long can kill you was posted at 2:15 AM. Those of us sitting around unable to sleep now have our apparently imminent mortality to think about, too.

  • If living underground and never getting any sunlight are detrimental too I'd be surprised if I make it to the end of the;lksdgne poigjuofdjs;l;dlkmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  • by Buchenskjoll ( 762354 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @05:34AM (#51087167)
    Mortality is higher among slashdot users with a low user id. Makes you think doesn't it?
  • The survey seems to be sound in terms of methodology, sample size and tracking period. Like any statistical survey the findings might point to correlated variables that are main causes, but some variables are more difficult to ascertain what is behind them.
    Lack or too much sleep might be result of hormonal or metabolic problems, also the result of breathing issues due to congenital defects or too much height.
    So, although some variable aren't perfect they can me measured and tracked, while deeper and more
    • by nbauman ( 624611 )

      Yes, but as the contributor above pointed out, correlation != causation.

      We've had too many false positives from the Nurses' Health Study to ignore that.

      People who are sick in the first place are likely to be more sedentary and to have difficulty sleeping.

      • Yep, correlation != causation.
        But any statistical study worth their salt will check the data for bias and other effects.
        Also, we don't have the abstract of the article, or the introduction to the survey questionnaire, but it is possible that there is a health condition field.
        Like a health status, or if the person has a previous condition or another health issue.
        So it logical to assume that there was some tracking on that.
        Plus, you can be "healthy" and not know that you have a congenital or genetic cond
        • by nbauman ( 624611 )

          Actually, we do have the abstract and the entire article. PLOS Medicine is open source. http://journals.plos.org/plosm... [plos.org] I think you can even follow the links to the original questionnaire.

          There's a pretty strong consensus among epidemiologists, including the ones who gave the talk I linked to https://www.elsevier.com/conne... [elsevier.com] , that you can't infer causation from association.

          But any statistical study worth their salt will check the data for bias and other effects.

          Yes, they'll check, but without a randomized, controlled trial, it's impossible to rule out bias and other effects.

          • Nice, then you have leads to do randomized controlled studies where before you would have to guess. I bet there is a strong correlation with the amount of surveys done with followup controlled studies on a given subject. That is called empirical work that builds up a case. Eventually you will have a more precise picture, that's science.
  • Of all participants, 31.2%, 36.9%, 21.4%, and 10.6% reported 0, 1, 2, and 3+ risk factors, respectively. There was a strong relationship between the lifestyle risk index score and all-cause mortality.

    31.2+36.9+21.4+10.6= everyone and 1% extras. Did significant significance creep in?

    Out of all 96 possible risk combinations, the 30 most commonly occurring combinations accounted for more than 90% of the participants.

    Each of 7 factors can be one of two states. That is 2^7 except that two of the conditions are "too much" or "too little" sleep which means a those state can be reduced to one. 2^6 isn't 96 as far as I know.

    • by maeka ( 518272 )

      No, of the 7, those 2 conditions can be reduced to a triplet not a 6th binary pair. That leaves 5 binary pairs and the triplet.

      so 2^5*3=96

      • by thogard ( 43403 )

        Based on your comment, I'm guessing they are assuming self reporting for both over-sleeping and under-sleeping?

        • by maeka ( 518272 )

          What does A have to do with B?

          • by thogard ( 43403 )

            How can you both over sleep and under sleep? And how can you ask that in a survey or get it from other data in a reliable way? I know this can be true but I expect about as many correct answers on a self survey to a question like that as "what color is the last unicorn horn you saw?"

            There are people who both under sleep and over sleep but they are very rare and I expect they would be hesitant to answer the question correctly. That doesn't even deal with the issues of having them dropped from the pool of

            • by maeka ( 518272 )

              You can't both over and under. Thus we have 5 binary conditions:

              2^5=32

              and the "other" two conditions, Over and Under. That's the 7.

              But over and under are conditional conditions, only one can exist at a time (or neither). Thus they are, together, a triplet.

              So 2^5=32*3=96

  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @07:42AM (#51087379)

    Some obvious workarounds...

    "2.42 times more likely to die during the study"

    These people can avoid dying during the study by not participating in the study.

    "4.23 times more likely die by the time the study ended"

    These people could be saved by continuing the study indefinitely.

    Problems solved!

  • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *
    I'm really going to miss those years between 75 and 80. I mean, we're talking quality of life there.
  • "Having a single major risk factor increased mortality rates slightly, but the study found that those who report multiple risk factors are significantly more likely to die early."

    Wow, how insightful.

    In other news, scientists found that being shot in the chest once increased mortality rates slightly, but those who are shot in the chest multiple times "are significantly more likely to die early."

  • Don't worry. Your employer will find another you at the first sign of any health problems.
  • As a trucker.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Computershack ( 1143409 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @10:01AM (#51087831)
    .....I'm royally fucked. 12-15hr shifts mostly sat on my arse driving or waiting, 6hrs a day of broken sleep and to top it off I work nights as well. Already got a fucked back and am overweight, both of which are very common in the job. On the bright side at least I'll be dead long before my medical care gets really expensive.
  • My job will finally kill me! Great news! Now if we could only accelerate this process...
  • Those who blended insufficient exercise with prolonged sitting were 2.42 times more likely to die during the study, and those who were also guilty of sleeping for too many hours were 4.23 times more likely die by the time the study ended.

    Sounds like participating in the study was pretty risky behavior as well.

  • Here I am sitting at my 9-5 desk sit-down desk job, running on about 4 hours of sleep... RIP
  • by k6mfw ( 1182893 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @01:35PM (#51089191)
    So that's what those places look like. I could not help but think of rowers that powered Roman Empire naval vessels the way these people are lined up in rows and columns. Battle speed!
  • Just got this, hope I don't die before this January's presentation:

    Sleep and Performance Sleep is an integral part of life that is often bartered in exchange for spending more time on all other aspects of life. However, studies have shown that inadequate sleep actually has a negative impact on both health and performance. Understanding the physiologic drive for sleep, the effects of fatigue, and how to optimize sleep will provide the participants with strategies to boost performance and reduce fatigue-rel

  • In the words of Chris rock. You are going to die, fuck it!

"In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -- Carl Sagan, Cosmos

Working...