We know sedentary time is bad for us. Previous research has suggested a link between the total amount of time spent sitting each day and health problems or even early death. Now, an observational study published online Sept. 12, 2017, by Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that it also matters how many minutes at a time you spend sitting in an office chair or lounging on a couch. Researchers looked at the health and activity of about 8,000 men and women (ages 45 or older) who wore activity trackers for a week, and then they followed the participants for four years. Sitting for 30, 60, or 90 minutes at a time was associated with the greatest risk for death if sedentary time was more than 12 or 13 hours per day. Sitting less than 30 minutes at a time was associated with a lower risk of death during the follow-up period, regardless of the total amount of inactivity for the day. But study authors point out that an inactive lifestyle is hazardous no matter how you rack up sedentary time. The takeaway: Study authors say their findings support guidelines that recommend we all get up and move every 30 minutes.
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