Sedentary Life Increases Risk of Death From 14 Diseases, Reports the American Cancer Society


A study conducted by the American Cancer Society found that people who sit more than six hours a day or more have an increased risk of early death – 19%!

The study was recently published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

14 Ways to Die if You Sit Too Much

The authors of the study show that a sedentary life can kill you in 14 ways. These are the disease you risk developing if you don’t have an active life: Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, digestive diseases, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, lung disease, musculoskeletal disorders, nervous disorders, Parkinson’s disease, peptic ulcer, stroke or suicide.

Alpa Patel is the strategic director of the cancer society’s prevention study-3 and the lead researchers of this study:

“The simple message is that we should be moving more. The less sitting you do, the better it is for you. Breaking up an hour of sitting with 2 minutes of standing or light activity can improve cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure.”

Cause and Effect – No Proof

The study had no proof of the cause and effect, but sitting more leads to developing chronic disease. Patel thinks that one of the reasons for sitting on the couch for long periods could lead to unhealthy behaviors like snacking. Studies also show that sitting leads to high levels of triglycerides, blood sugar, blood pressure and insulin, and it is linked to inflammation. This is why sitting is linked to heart, liver and kidney disease, cancer, diabetes, and COPD.

The increased risk of early death differed from disease to disease, ranging from 10% (cancer) to 60% (musculoskeletal disease).

Patel’s team used data on 128,000 men and women in the American Cancer Society prevention study. None of the participants suffered from major chronic diseases at the beginning of the study. In 21 years, almost 49,000 people died.

Dr. David Katz is the director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center in Derby, Connecticut. He explains that the study must figure out why sitting increases the risk of early death, but we can easily improve the odds:

“We have known for some time now that sitting for extended periods daily is injurious to health. The remedy is at hand — stand up, stretch, walk around; repeat often.”


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