Whether it’s at an office desk or on the couch binge-watching some TV, we’re all more guilty than we’d like to admit of sitting for longer than six hours at a time. Sitting for more than six hours is considered prolonged sedentary behavior and a new study suggests it’s causing major health problems.
The study, conducted at Queens University Belfast, found that prolonged sedentary behavior was a cause of several health issues in the UK. It was responsible for 16.9% of type two diabetes cases and 4.9% of cardiovascular disease cases. It also found it might be behind 7.5% of lung cancers, 9% of colon cancers, and 8% of endometrial cancers. Those are some scary statistics.
What’s even scarier is that sitting for prolonged periods of time like this was also associated with over 69,000 deaths in the U.K. in 2016. The U.K. spent an estimated £762 million ($975 million) to treat patients with these conditions between 2016 and 2017.
They suggest incorporating small amounts of movement during the day to reduce the risk. Try taking a walk on your lunch break or investing in a standing desk to get your work done. Walking, dancing, or gardening for as little as 10 minutes a day is associated with an 18% reduced risk of death. Be sure to get up and stretch your legs to stay healthy!