Harvard Health Letter

News briefs: Sit more, live less, warn Harvard researchers

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Too much time spent sitting could lead to an early death. That's the finding of a study published online Jan. 7, 2014, in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Researchers looked at more than 90,000 postmenopausal women and found that sitting for long stretches of time increased the odds of an untimely death. The more time spent sitting—anywhere—the greater the odds of dying early from all causes, including heart disease and cancer. The findings even applied to women who exercised regularly, if the rest of the day was spent sitting. How can you combat this? "Set a timer to go off every 30 to 60 minutes during the day, then get up and walk around for at least a few minutes—whether you're at home or at work," says Dr. JoAnn Manson, one of the study authors and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.