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Study: Some Types of Sitting Less Healthy Than Others

a woman sits at a desk job
(Javier Galeano/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 16 July 2019 08:37 PM

A new study shows some types of sitting are more dangerous for your health than others, NPR reported.

In an eight year-long study, researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center monitored how much 3,500 adults sat at home and at work, finding that those who watched four or more hours of TV a day had a 50% greater risk of heart disease compared with those who watched two hours or less.

But sitting at work was not associated with the risk of heart attack or stroke, the study found.

"The typical American eats a large meal dinner and then sits on the couch and watches TV for hours at a time," lead researcher Keith Diaz told NPR.

"And we think that's a toxic combination of eating a large meal and then sitting for the rest of your evening."

Diaz noted sitting and watching TV might involve inactivity "for hours at a time," while at work, people are "getting up and going to the printer, to a copy machine, to a coworker's desk."

Regular exercise also made a big difference, with researchers finding people who exercised at least 30 minutes, five days a week, there was no increased health risk, even if they sat and watched TV for four hours or more. 

All the study participants were African Americans, NPR noted.

"We know that African Americans have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease at all ages, and we also know that they have a lower life expectancy compared to Caucasians," Dr. Martha Gulati with the American College of Cardiology told NPR.

"Reducing the amount of television we watch is one way to start making changes."

Dr. Felipe Lobelo with the American Heart Association suggested couch potatoes take short breaks from TV-watching.

"Even if you're not getting up to exercise – but if you're breaking those two or three hours of sedentary time into, say, chunks of 20 minutes, and every 20 minutes, you get up and make a phone call or just simply move, that has a potential benefit," he told NPR.

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Some types of sitting are more dangerous for your health than others, according to a new study, NPR reported.
research, activity, sitting, health, african americans
Tuesday, 16 July 2019 08:37 PM
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