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50% increased risk of disability every extra hour you sit

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Published : 2014-02-27 16:19
Updated : 2014-02-27 16:19

Sedentary behavior or sitting too much has been linked to an increased risk for health problems such as heart failure and earlier death, HealthDay News reported.
A new study published by Dorothy Dunlop, a professor of medicine at the Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, showed that older adults who sit too much are more likely to be disabled or contract illnesses regardless of their exercise habits.

Dunlop evaluated the exercise habits of more than 2,000 men and women, aged 60 and above, and their ability to perform normal everyday activities.

According to the study, for each hour spent being sedentary in a day, the odds of disability rose about 50 percent. For instance, a woman aged 65 who was sedentary for 13 hours a day was 50 percent more likely to be disabled than a woman who was sedentary for 12 hours, Dunlop explained.

Dunlop told HealthDay News that she cannot say for sure what it is about sitting. However, she suggested that extended periods of sitting cause muscles to burn less fat and blood to flow more sluggishly, hence, resulting in high blood pressure, heart disease, swollen ankles and diabetes.

The study author advised how to prevent disability brought on by a sedentary lifestyle. She suggested standing up when talking on the phone and parking far from destinations at the mall or market to increase activity. At work or home, she recommended taking the stairs rather than elevators and walking to nearby errands instead of taking a car.

By Ha Ji-won, intern reporter (jiwonha@heraldcorps.com)

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