Get off your seat for bet­ter health

The Sun (Malaysia) - - LIFESTYLE -

AF­TER an in­creas­ing amount of re­search has al­ready out­lined the neg­a­tive ef­fects of sit­ting for long pe­ri­ods of time, a new study has found that long pe­ri­ods of in­ac­tiv­ity are to blame for nearly 4% of all deaths world­wide.

Pub­lished in the Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Pre­ven­tive Medicine and car­ried out by re­searchers from the Univer­sity of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and San Jorge Univer­sity in Zaragoza, Spain, the study looked at 54 coun­tries across the world us­ing data from be­tween 2002 and 2011.

The data re­vealed over 60% of peo­ple world­wide spend more than three hours a day sit­ting down, with adults spend­ing on av­er­age 4.7 hours of their day on their rears.

This in­ac­tiv­ity is caus­ing 3.8% of deaths across the world – ap­prox­i­mately 433,000 deaths a year, the study said.

The high­est rates of death were found in the Western Pa­cific, fol­lowed by parts of Europe, the East­ern Mediter­ranean re­gion, Amer­ica and South­east Asia.

Sev­eral stud­ies pub­lished in 2012 by the Lancet showed that 31% of the global pop­u­la­tion fails to meet the cur­rent rec­om­men­da­tions for phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity.

The au­thors of the study cal­cu­lated that in­creas­ing ac­tive time and re­duc­ing sit­ting time in the coun­tries stud­ied could in­crease life ex­pectancy by 0.2 years.

Ac­cord­ing to their analy­ses, re­duc­ing sit­ting time by two hours – around a 50% re­duc­tion – would re­sult in a 2.3% de­crease in risk of mor­tal­ity (three times less).

Even a re­duc­tion of just 10% – or half an hour a day – could re­duce mor­tal­ity by 0.6%.

The team now ad­vise that seden­tary be­hav­iour should be min­imised in or­der to pre­vent pre­ma­ture deaths around the world and sug­gest that strate­gic na­tional health cam­paigns, such as bike-shar­ing sys­tems, could be rolled out by coun­tries to get the pop­u­la­tion mov­ing more. – AFPRe­laxnews

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