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Why You Should Avoid Sitting For Too Long

Hello << Test First Name >>Research has suggested that remaining seated for too long is bad for your health, regardless of how much exercise you do. Studies have linked excessive sitting with being overweight and obese, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and premature death. Prolonged sitting is thought to slow the metabolism, which affects the body's ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat. Many adults in the UK spend more than seven hours a day sitting or lying, and this typically increases with age to 10 hours or more. This includes watching TV, using a computer, reading, doing homework, travelling by car, bus or train – behaviours referred to as sedentary – but does not include sleeping. Experts believe there is something specific about the act of sitting or lying for too long that is bad for our health. One of the largest pieces of research to date on the subject – involving almost 800,000 people – found that, compared with those who sat the least, people who sat the longest had a:
  • 112% increase in risk of diabetes
  • 147% increase in cardiovascular events
  • 90% increase in death caused by cardiovascular events
  • 49% increase in death from any cause

How much sitting is too much?

The advice is clear: to reduce our risk of ill health from inactivity, we are advised to exercise regularly – at least 150 minutes a week – as well as reduce time spent sitting or lying.However, there is currently not enough evidence to set a time limit on how much time people should sit each day.

What Can You Do?

Adults aged 19 to 64 are advised to try to sit down less throughout the day, including at work, when travelling and at home. Tips to reduce sitting time:
  • stand on the train or bus
  • take the stairs and walk up escalators
  • set a reminder to get up every 30 minutes
  • alternate working while seated with standing
  • place a laptop on a box or similar to work standing
  • stand or walk around while on the phone
  • take a walk break every time you take a coffee or tea break
  • walk to a co-worker's desk instead of emailing or calling
  • swap some TV time for more active tasks or hobbies