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Sitting Too Much May be Deadly

Even if you exercise regularly, sitting all day may seriously affect your health. Recent research has led researchers to conclude that sedentary time should be defined as muscular inactivity rather than the absence of exercise.

Researchers from the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences published an editorial in the January 2010 issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine that cited several separate studies on the relationship between sitting and health.

One Australian study found that each additional hour spent sitting and watching television resulted in a 26% increased risk of metabolic syndrome, regardless of their exercising habits.

Metabolic syndrome puts people at a much higher risk for type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and having a heart attack. Metabolic syndrome is defined by The American Heart Association as having three or more of the following:

1. A waistline greater than 40 for men or 35 for women

2. Good (HDL) cholesterol under 40mg/dL for men or 50mg/dL for women

3. Triglyceride levels over 150mg/dL

4. Blood pressure over 130/85mm Hg or the use of blood pressure medicine

5. Elevated levels of C-reactive protein

6. Insulin resistance or glucose intolerance

Another study that followed over 17,000 Canadians for nearly a dozen years found that people who sat more had a higher death risk, once again, regardless of whether they exercised or not.

The researchers encourage people to spread their exercise throughout the day and say that even small amounts of exercise throughout the day can help ward off bad health.

They recommend making little changes like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, taking five minute breaks from your desk to take a walk and walking instead of driving when doing errands.

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