A recent study by American Cancer Society suggests that the more time you spend sitting the shorter your life span. This spells bad news in big bold letters for most of the people engaged in desk job and also those who spend long hours behind computer screens playing Farmville on Facebook or surfing the net.
The study involved 123,216 US adults who had no prior history of cancer, heart attack, stroke or lung disease. The majority of the participants aged between 50 and 74. Of the total population 53,440 were men and 69,776 were women. The participants were given questionnaires to cover various details on their level of physical activity and were then monitored for 14 years from the year 1993 to 2006.
It was found that the women who spent over six hours a day sitting during their leisure hours, watching TV, surfing the web or reading had a 37 percent increased risk of shorter life span compared to those who spent less than three hours sitting. The results were considerably different for men who were at an increased risk of 17 percent.
It was also observed that as little as an hour of exercise per day lowered the mortality risk. Even then the risk could not be lowered much. The people who spend more time sitting and did not exercise or stay inactive were at even a higher risk. The risk for such people was calculated to be 94 percent for women and 48 percent for men.
Various studies have evolved around the subject of inactivity physiology stating why sitting for longer hours shortens your life span. The more time you spend sitting the lesser the energy used by the body. And less energy used by the body means lower metabolism which may lead to weight gain, and other risk factors for various diseases.
It also affects the blood circulation of our body having consequences on the metabolism such as high blood pressure while at rest and high levels of cholesterol. When blood does not flow through your veins up to the heart, it could lead to dangerous blood clot. The great effect that prolonged sitting has on metabolism explains the reason why associations were strongest for cardiovascular disease mortality.
In simple words, the results have shown that the longer you sit the shorter your life span. And including physical activity can add a few extra years to your life but it cannot completely prevent from the risk of premature death. The researchers have advised that public health messages should include both being physically active and spending less amount of time sitting. It is understood that you cannot control how long you would live but certainly you can make sure that you live a healthy life.
All you need to do is include as much of physical activity in your life as your health and age allows. If joining a gym doesn’t interest you may there are various fun activities that could undertake to be fitter. Video games like the Nintendo Wii Fit board, although not great are still a good option for people who engage in no physical activity. Be on the move and live longer. SABUNG AYAM