Previous studies have repeatedly suggested that any type of sedentary lifestyle, such as sitting still, is not good for your health. Sitting for 9.5 hours or more per day, excluding sleep, is associated with an increased risk of death.
Scientists, under the guidance of prof. Ulf Ekelund from the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences in Oslo, Norway, analyzed studies assessing the relationship between physical activity and sitting time with the risk of premature death.
Using accelerometers – wearable devices that track volume and intensity of activity – to measure total activity, intensity levels were divided into light, moderate and energetic categories.
Cooking or washing dishes were examples of low intensity, a quick walk or mowing of the lawn was considered moderate intensity, and jogging or carrying heavy loads was used as examples of intensive intensity.
According to the researchers, the risk of participants' deaths was about five times higher for those who were inactive compared to those who were the most active.
The study was conducted in the United States and Western Europe on 36,383 adults who were at least 40 years old with an average of 62 years. Participants were followed up for an average of 5.8 years.
However, the results of the study may not apply to other populations or younger people.
According to the researchers, the message of public health can be simply: "Sit less and move more often."