Prolonged Sitting Increases All-Cause Mortality Risk

(HealthDay News) – People aged >45 years who sit for prolonged periods of time each day are at an increased risk of death due to all causes, compared with those who sit for less than four hours a day.

Hidde P. van der Ploeg, PhD, of the University of Sydney in Australia, and colleagues prospectively surveyed 222,497 people aged >45 years to determine whether sitting time is independently related to all-cause mortality. Data were adjusted based on potential confounding factors such as subject sex, age, body mass index, self-rated health, physical activity, disability, smoking status, education, and urban/rural residence.

Participants were followed for a mean of 2.8 years. In that time, 5,405 deaths occurred among the 222,497 participants. After adjusting for potential confounders, the researchers found that the risk of all-cause mortality was 2% higher (hazard ratio [HR], 1.02; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.95–1.09) for those sitting for four to less than eight hours a day, 15% higher (HR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.06–1.25) for those sitting 8–<11 hours a day, and 40% higher (HR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.27–1.55) for those sitting >11 hours a day, compared to individuals who sit less than four hours a day.

"In conclusion, prolonged sitting is a risk factor for all-cause mortality. Shorter sitting times and sufficient physical activity are independently protective against all-cause mortality not just for healthy individuals but also for those with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, overweight, or obesity," the authors write.

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