A Sedentary Lifestyle Can Lead To Early Death, Warns Study

a man with a couch potato shirt sitting with remotes on him and a sedentary lifestyle

People with a sedentary lifestyle that sit for longer than 30 minutes at a time present a higher mortality risk.

Having a sedentary lifestyle and failing to stretch for more than 30 minutes can increase the risks of early death, according to a new study. Although not the first research to target this year, this one nonetheless attempts to rectify the limitations of previous such analyses.

A Sedentary Lifestyle or Having Bouts of Inactivity Longer Than 30 Minutes at a Time

This latest research monitored about 8000 Caucasian and Africa-American participants over a period of seven days. All those involved in the study were aged 45 or older. Accelerometers placed on their hips helped monitor each person’s periods of activity and inactivity throughout the day. A follow-up four years later revealed that 340 of the participants had died.

By analyzing the collected data, the team determined that the participants that had a less than 30 minutes bout of inactivity presented the lowest risks of early death. In contrast, for people with a sedentary lifestyle, for every half hour of inactivity, their risks of an early death rose by around 19 percent.

Closely monitoring the participants helped determine their median sedentary pattern, which established to be of 12.3 hours in a 16-hours day. Each of their sedentary bouts was established to extend, on average, for 11.4 minutes.

Study Limitations and Measures Against Them

The analysis also took into account the age, race, sex, BMI, and exercise habits of the participants. These helped determine that the length of a sedentary bout was also important and a factor in the spike in mortality rates. This comes beside the total number of hours spent in a sedentary way, which was already included.

“We furthermore studied how long is too long for sitting bouts. We found that those individuals who frequently kept their sitting bouts to less than 30 minutes had a lower risk of death,” stated Keith Diaz, the study lead and part of the Columbia University Medical Center.

This also reportedly continued by saying that people that sat for more than 13 hours every day presented a 200 percent higher risk of death.

As it is, researchers not part of the study point out that one of the limitations of this study is the fact that the results can vary according to the health levels, ethnicity, and race of the people.

Still, specialists do agree with the study’s advice of stretching or standing or moving around at regular intervals.

Current research findings are available in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

Image Source: Flickr

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Michael Turner

Remember that strange guy from high-school who never seems to be paying any attention to classes and is completely absorbed by his doodles and sketches? That’s was me 14 years ago. I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember - according to my mom, since I was in diapers - and that has never changed - except for the diaper part. For a very long time I thought that animations and graphic design are my calling, but two years ago I got side-tracked and started building an interactive website with a couple of friends. It received instant gratification from fellow internet users, and that’s when I realized that the virtual medium is where I belong. I can freely share my passions with others, work on ingenious new projects and find the most fascinating information about, well, everything. I spend most of my free time writing reviews for crazy gadgets on ArgyllFreePress, I work as an interactive designer for an independent firm and I also received my Fine Arts degree from the University of Oxford.