Sedentary lifestyle can send you to early grave — here's how to deal with it

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You might spend your days lounging on your couch and watching TV or working on your computer while seated. That shouldn't be a problem, but did you know that this habit can be fatal and can lead to early death? 

A study by the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) suggests that technology has facilitated asedentary lifestyle or prolonged sitting by reducing human movement which is detrimental for our health as our bodies are designed to be active, Inverse reported.

In the study, involving 5,856 female participants aged 63 to 99 years, participants were asked to wear an activity monitor for seven days. The researchers then followed them for a decade, during which 1,733 participants died.

Researchers used artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse the participants’ sitting habits and linked this to their risk of death.

This image shows a child watching video on a compuer while sitting. — Pexels
This image shows a child watching video on a compuer while sitting. — Pexels

According to the results, those who sat for over 11 hours a day had a 57% higher risk of dying compared to those who sat less than nine and a half hours a day.

However, the risk of early death persisted with moderate-to-vigorous exercise.

How much is too much sitting?

Some studies suggest that sitting for over 30 minutes in one sitting session can increase blood sugar levels and blood pressure, while other studies suggest 11 or seven hours per day is too much.

How to avoid sitting for long periods?

This image shows a man working on computer in front of a sit-stand desk. — Ergonofis
This image shows a man working on computer in front of a sit-stand desk. — Ergonofis

A sit-stand desk can help office workers stand up while fulfilling tasks on a computer, while at home, standing up during TV ad breaks or while boiling a kettle can help.

Some smart devices and wearables buzz if you have been sitting for too long as well.

A 2020 study found that small bursts of arm exercise can lower blood sugar levels in wheelchair users. As long as you’re not sitting still, there are health benefits that you can get.