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Can Sitting Down Kill You?

Victor1558, flickr

Want to live longer?

It could be as easy as getting out of the chair you may be sitting in right now.

A new study suggests that all the time Americans spend sitting down is taking years off our life expectancy rates.

Earlier work with both animals and humans discovered that lots of sitting leads to changes in resting glucose levels and blood pressure, and boosts levels of certain biomarkers of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

In the latest research, after reviewing five studies involving 167,000 people that explored the effects of sitting and watching TV, researchers cross-referenced that data with numbers collected by the CDC on how much time Americans report being couch potatoes with the boob tube for company.

The results showed that if we’d sit three hours or less per day, we could extend our lives by up to two years.

Peter Katzmarzyk, the study’s lead author and a professor at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., said that while 30 minutes of daily exercise is important for good health, “there are 23 and a half other hours of the day that we can’t ignore.”

So what’s an office slave to do? Katzmarzyk says little changes can make a big difference. For example, instead of emailing colleagues, get up and go talk to them instead. And during your lunch break, try to squeeze in a short walk.

[ABC News]

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