A lack of physical activity has long been tied to a host of healthy conditions, but a new study suggests simply sitting for too long can raise the risk of a number of issues common to older adults. The findings, out of the University of Leicester, found that sitting for long periods is associated with diabetes, heart disease and death.
The results were drawn from 18 previously-conducted studies involving more than 794,500 subjects. Researchers found there was a two-fold increase in the risk of heart disease, diabetes and death in participants who sat for longer periods of time, even if they were physically active otherwise.
“This paper has a very important message for the public but also for healthcare professionals – namely that being sedentary is common and dangerous for our long term health, particularly for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and that this link appears to be over and above other lifestyle factors such as our diet and physical activity,” said professor Melanie Davies.
The findings shed light on how important preventing heart disease and diabetes is to successful senior care. Nearly 27 percent of adults over 65 have diabetes, while heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.