Alarming news for men: whether drivers, executives or bankers, even couch potatoes and all whose daily routines consist of sitting on a chair for more than four hours. Two years of one’s life expectancy can go down the drain all because of just having hours of sitting down and trying to make a living for oneself and his family.
A recent survey done by the University of Western Sydney this February 2013 has found that sitting can link to different diseases in men. 63,048 middle aged Australian men, particularly of ages 45 to 64, were surveyed and those who sat for more than four hours daily were more likely to be at risk to cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases of some sort. The research is part of Australia’s biggest long term study of aging – 45 and Up Study. 45 and Up Study involves more than 260,000 people.
The survey was conducted by the collaboration of Dr. Richard Rosenkranz from the Department of Human Nutrition at Kansas State University, Prof. Gregory Kolt from UWS and Emma George, a researcher also from UWS. The selected men were asked to record their hours of daily sitting and the range of health related issues which includes the absence or presence of chronic diseases. The survey divided the amount of sitting time into four categories – 1. Less than four hours 2. Four to six hours 3. Six to eight hours and 4. More than eight hours. According to Emma George, the survey came out with results of men sitting down for more than four hours and have highly reported of having serious health issues. Factors such as BMI, level of physical exercise and age are independent of lowering risks. Despite the level of activity of the person outside his job, the amount of time spent sitting during the day still have a bigger impact.
“It’s not just about getting physical activity in your life. Just because you’re doing 30 minutes of physical activity, what about the other 23.5 hours. Don’t just sit the rest of the day,” lead author Dr. Peter T Katzmarzyk of Pennington Biomedical Research Center from Louisiana, told Businessweek.
“The rates of chronic diseases reported by the participants exponentially increased in proportion with the amount of time the participants spent sitting down. Despite your levels of physical activity, the more time you spend sitting the less time your body has to stay active and expend energy,” states Emma George.
“The results of this study suggest that there are potential for people to improve their overall health if they found more opportunities to move around during the day and reduce the amount of time spent sitting. People should consider ways that they can integrate movement into their daily routines. Perhaps arranging ‘active’ meetings rather than a teleconference, or walk around during your lunch break rather than sitting at your desk.”
Little things will go along way if done daily and will improve health condition such as better heart and muscle health. Try using the stairs instead of waiting for the elevator or the escalator to take you to your floor, stand up while taking lunch and take your dog for an extra hour of walk and do basketball with your family members instead of slouching in front of the tv for hours when you get home.
Published results of the study can be seen at the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.