Take a moment and think about how often you sit throughout your day. Between classes, studying, watching television, or on the computer, chances are you are sedentary for the most part of your day. According to a new study from the American Cancer Society, all that sitting may be cutting years off your life!
Turns out a long life is not just about how frequently you move your butt, but also how much time is spent sitting on it. Researchers found that time spent sitting was independently associated with total mortality, regardless of physical activity level. The study examined the amount of time spent sitting and physical activity in relation to mortality of over 123,000 participants. Across all activity levels, participants who sat for more than 6 hours a day were more likely to die than those who sat for less than 3 hours a day. Combined with lack of physical activity, the association was even greater. Researchers concluded that public health messages should promote both being physically active and reducing time spent sitting.
If you're seated more often than you would like, hope is not lost. Just find ways to work movement into your daily routine. If you have time, take the long way between classes or use class breaks to stand and stretch. When studying, pace while reviewing flash cards. You can even take your tasks to the gym and read or watch TV while on a treadmill. If you need to be seated, use a stability ball instead of a chair- it doubles as a workout! Find ways to avoid sitting and stay moving. You just may add years to your life, and life to your years!