Sitting it seems has become a national pastime that is taking a toll on people’s health.
Federal researchers report one in four adults sit for more than eight hours a day, four in 10 are physically inactive with no moderate or vigorous activity during the week, and one in 10 reported both sitting more than eight hours a day and being physically inactive.
Investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted the research, which was published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
This study used data from a nationally representative survey of about 5,900 adults to examine sitting time and leisure-time. The study analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which collects health information on a representative sample of adults over 18 years old.
The nearly 6,000 people who responded reported on the number of hours a day they spent sitting — at work, home and during their commutes — as well as how many hours they spent doing moderate to vigorous physical activity each week. About 25 percent said they spent more than eight hours a day sitting and 44 percent said they did no moderate to vigorous physical activity each week. About 11 percent said they sat for more than eight hours a day and also did little leisure-time physical activity. Only 3 percent said they sat for less than four hours a day and were active.
When you sit, you use less energy than you do when you stand or move. Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns. They include obesity and a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels — that make up metabolic syndrome, according to Dr. Edward R. Laskowski, of the Mayo Clinic. Too much sitting overall and prolonged periods of sitting also seem to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.