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Sitting Study: Taking a Seat Can Take Years off Life

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CLEVELAND-- Could sitting on your derriere be detrimental to your health?

New research has people who sit on the job a little nervous.

“I sit for eight or nine hours a day,” said businessman Andy Folds, “Even the fax machine’s right behind me. I don’t even move for the fax or copy or anything.”

The study released in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed a direct link between sitting and shortened life spans.

People who sat for six hours or longer each day had higher mortality rates than those who sat for three hours or less, according to the research.

The test subjects also had higher incidences of heart disease, stroke, and obesity.

“I’m really not surprised about that,” said Dr. Leanne Chrisman, Program Director for Family Medicine Residency at MetroHealth Medical Center.

Similar studies in recent years including a report by the American Cancer Society produced nearly the same results. AMC researchers also discovered that men and women who sit for long periods of time had an increased risk for colon cancer.

The findings are problematic for many American workers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans spend 8.8 hours working and a large percentage of that time is spent sitting.

“We were meant to be physically active, as we’ve gone from a farming agrarian society to one that does computer work and sitting, we’re going to age differently,” said Dr. Chrisman.

And the most shocking part of the study says that even if a person exercises for a half hour, five times week, it still might not be enough.

“Shocking right,” said Dr. Chrisman, ”It’s what we do all day long that really has that impact on your health.”

This information impacted Dr. Chrisman and others at MetroHealth so much that many of them started sitting on yoga balance balls at their desks.

She says, taking the stairs, a brisk walk, or any burst of activity-- just 5 minutes every hour-- will have a huge impact, not only on your health, but your happiness and overall longevity.

“Just get out there and do something; please do something,” said Dr. Chrisman with a smile.

CLICK HERE for more from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

CLICK HERE for more from the American Cancer Society.

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