Over time, sedentary behavior (sitting in front of the computer or TV for example) may be, by itself, contributing to chronic disease risk, including cancer.
Yes, researchers are looking more and more at how much time people spend being sedentary and the harm that does.
Two large studies (European Heart Journal and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology) measured participants’ “sedentary behavior” time and found that those with highest levels compared to those with lowest levels had increased risk of heart disease or heart disease risk factors. These results are similar to those from smaller studies.
The good news: in one study participants who took more frequent breaks from being sedentary fared somewhat better.
If you have a sedentary job, take a short break every 30 minutes just to get up and walk or move around, even for a couple of minutes. Spend less time in front of the TV and when you do watch TV, stretch or stand up for awhile – avoid just sitting for long periods of time. Small steps do, indeed, make a difference.
Join our Never Too Late campaign and find ideas on how you can make changes at any age to move toward more activity and healthier eating patterns.