Get off your seat for better health
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