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“Sitting really is the new smoking.”

September 12, 2017

According to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, too much inactive time, whether it’s sitting down at a desk or laying on the couch, can increase your risk of premature death.

In fact, people who sit at desk jobs all day were found to be twice as likely to die early, even with regular exercise, according to the study.

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Led by Columbia University exercise researcher Keith Diaz, the study monitored the movements of about 8,000 adults over age 45 by asking them to wear an accelerometer on their hip. After 10 days, the study found that a sedentary lifestyle made up about 12.3 hours of a 16 hour day. So, basically, even while you’re awake, you could be inactive for about 77 percent of your day.

After tracking the participants for four years, the data showed that those who spent the most time sitting were also the most likely to have died during the study, even after analyzing other factors — like time spent exercising.

“Sitting really is the new smoking,” researcher and physician at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center Monika Safford said in a release. 

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Just in case you’re biting your nails and rocking yourself into an existential crisis, the authors suggest that if you are one of those people who sit for long periods of time, you should get up an move around every 30 minutes to help decrease your risk.

“We need creative ways to ensure we not only cut back on the amount we sit but increase regular bursts of activity,” said Safford.

Or perhaps those standing desks really will save us all.

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