Too much sedentary time is linked to major disability after 60

February 19, 2014
Science Daily/Northwestern University
If you're 60 and older, every additional hour a day you spend sitting is linked to doubling the risk of being disabled -- regardless of how much exercise you get, reports a new study. The study is the first to show sedentary behavior is its own risk factor for disability, separate from lack of moderate vigorous physical activity. In fact, sedentary behavior is almost as strong a risk factor for disability as lack of exercise.

"This is the first time we've shown sedentary behavior was related to increased disability regardless of the amount of moderate exercise," said Dorothy Dunlop, professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and lead author of the study. "Being sedentary is not just a synonym for inadequate physical activity."

Studies with animals have shown immobility is a separate risk factor for negative effects on health. "This is the first piece of objective evidence that corroborates the animal data," Dunlop said.
•    To cut down on sitting time, Dunlop has the following suggestions:
•    Stand up when you talk on the phone or during a work meeting.
•    When you go to grocery store or mall, park in a space farthest away.
•    When you get up to have glass of water, walk around the house or office.
•    Walk for short errands instead of taking the car.
•    Take the stairs instead of the elevator, if you are able.
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