Prolonged Sitting Increases All-Cause Mortality Risk

In adults age 45 or older, mortality up for those sitting eight or more hours per day

TUESDAY, March 27 (HealthDay News) -- People over the age of 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/day, according to research published in the March 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Hidde P. van der Ploeg, Ph.D., of the University of Sydney in Australia, and colleagues prospectively surveyed 222,497 people aged 45 years and older 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 percent higher (hazard ratio [HR], 1.02; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.95 to 1.09) for those sitting for four to less than eight hours/day, 15 percent higher (HR, 1.15; 95 percent CI, 1.06 to 1.25) for those sitting eight to less than 11 hours/day, and 40 percent higher (HR, 1.40; 95 percent CI, 1.27 to 1.55) for those sitting 11 or more hours/day, compared to individuals who sit less than four hours/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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