Having less than eight hours of physical activity a day increases the risk of death

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Having less than eight hours of physical activity a day increases the risk of death

If you work in an office or from home, you probably know very well what it feels like to sit for hours with no time for breaks in between. If this is your daily experience, you will probably feel pain and stiffness throughout the day.

Furthermore, research suggests that too much time spent sitting may also contribute to additional health complications. A report published by JAMA Cardiology in June 2022 found how sitting for too long affected people from 21 different countries.

Although this study is one of the largest to be published on the subject, it is not the first to reveal the hard truth about what a sedentary lifestyle can do to your health. This and other studies on the subject published over the past decade have found that sitting for long periods of time every day without a break can rapidly age your body in a number of ways.

Office work has always posed a threat to finding time to move during the day. Considering that working from home has become more and more common in the last few years, and especially with the start of the covid19 pandemic, even more people are sitting for hours at their desks or on the couch.

Unfortunately, this can cause serious consequences for the health of the population.

Reduced physical activity is a widespread problem.

"The difference in the association might be partly explained by the different domains and patterns of sitting behaviors across different income levels," the researchers suggest in their published report.

"That is, television viewing time is more common among people with lower socioeconomic positions and showed a stronger association with outcomes compared with other sitting behaviors perhaps owing to coincident poor nutrition habits and prolonged and uninterrupted sedentary patterns." The JAMA Cardiology study found that all the populations they studied had results proving that more time spent sitting was associated with a higher risk of health complications.

According to an article in ScienceAlert explaining the JAMA Cardiology study, sitting between six and eight hours a day increases the relative risk of heart disease and premature death by about 12-13 percent, compared to people who sit for less than four hours a day.

Increase that time to eight hours or more, and the relative risk rises to a whopping 20 percent. "For those sitting more than four hours a day, replacing a half hour of sitting with exercise reduced the risk by 2 percent," says Simon Fraser University health scientist Scott Lear.

"There's a real opportunity here for people to increase their activity and reduce their chances of early death and heart disease." The Mayo Clinic also warns people about the dangers of sitting for hours without a break to move, claiming that making this a routine habit can be linked to health complications such as high blood pressure, obesity, high blood sugar, and excess visceral fat, which is a type of fat that builds up around your organs near your abdomen.

In fact, after purportedly reviewing 13 studies looking at sitting time versus the amount of one's daily activity, Mayo Clinic researchers concluded that those who sat for more than eight hours a day without physical activity had a risk of death similar to that posed by obesity and smoking.

Although this is an alarming statistic, fortunately, changing your habitual sedentary lifestyle can be easier than you think.