There's no way around it, folks: Too much sitting can kill you.
So says a new study appearing in Diabetologia, anyway – one which underscores already-existing evidence that too much sitting around can have fatal consequences. But this study is different for one reason:
It doesn't matter how much exercise you do.
Researchers found that folks who sit for long periods of time double their risk of heart disease, diabetes and death – even if they exercise regularly, and even if that exercise is vigorous.
And, considering that the average adult spends up to 70 percent of their time sitting, that's big. (Are you standing yet?)
"Our study also showed that the most consistent associations were between sitting and diabetes," said Dr. Emma Wilmot, the lead author, in a statement. That's good for people who are at risk for diabetes to know, so they can reduce their risk of the condition "by limiting the time spent sitting."
Dr. Jack Der-Sarkissian, a physician for Kaiser Permanente, previously told OnCentral that folks who are sedentary simply need to get up and be active. That, he said, would help keep the risks of too much sitting – inflammation within the body, breast cancer, colon cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease, to name a few – at bay.
But no more, it seems. Even if you make a habit of exercising hard, that won't be enough to mitigate the damage that sitting does to your body.
The solution is simple: If you're not already exercising, start, and if you're sitting around a lot, stop. If you have a desk job, try using a standing desk; if you're watching TV, don't sit through the whole thing; if you've been sitting for more than an hour, get up and take a brief walk.
It may feel strange to stand in situations where you're used to kicking back, but according this and previous research, it could save your life.
Photo by Victor1558 via Flickr Creative Commons.