Just 20-25 Minutes a Day Can Save Your Life from Sitting!
London— A comprehensive study involving nearly 12,000 participants aged 50 or older has shed light on the potential risks associated with prolonged sitting and the role of physical activity in mitigating these risks. The research, which monitored participants using activity trackers for at least two years, presents valuable insights into the relationship between sedentary behavior and mortality.
The study divided the participants into two groups based on their daily sitting habits. A total of 5,943 individuals were found to spend less than 10.5 hours sitting every day, while 6,042 participants sat for 10.5 hours or more daily. Over the course of an average 5-year period, 7% of the participants, equating to 805 individuals, sadly passed away. Of this group, 357 were among those who spent less than 10.5 hours sitting daily, and 448 were in the group sitting for 10.5 hours or more each day.
The study further delved into the impact of physical activity on the mortality risk associated with extended sitting. Among participants who engaged in less than 22 minutes of daily physical activity, the analysis revealed that sitting for over 12 hours daily was associated with a 38% higher risk of death compared to those who sat for 8 hours.
However, the study also yielded encouraging findings. For participants who spent more than 10.5 hours daily sitting, an additional 10 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity was associated with a remarkable 35% lower risk of death. These results highlight the importance of incorporating regular physical activity into daily routines, especially for those who find themselves seated for prolonged periods.
The research was conducted by collating individual participant data from four different groups to investigate the impact of physical activity on the link between extended sitting and the risk of mortality. Participants provided various details that could influence the study’s outcomes, including sex, weight, smoking history, alcohol consumption, and whether they had or currently have cardiovascular disease, cancer, or diabetes.
Nonetheless, the study does have some limitations. It was unable to repeat measurements of physical activity and sitting time to observe changes over time. Additionally, crucial factors such as diet and general health were not included in the analysis, and activity trackers were not always capable of distinguishing the specific types of activities participants engaged in.
In conclusion, the study underscores the significance of incorporating even small amounts of moderate to vigorous physical activity into one’s daily routine, especially for individuals who spend long hours sitting. While it provides valuable insights into the relationship between sedentary behavior and mortality, further research is necessary to explore the broader context of health and lifestyle factors that can impact these findings.