Avoid sitting down too much
Published 10 July 2012
Health experts are warning against sitting down too much – a big ask for Brits who spend large parts of their working lives sat behind a computer and their free time sitting in front of the box.
According to the British Heart Foundation, the latest research from America finds that we could live an extra two years just by spending three hours less sitting down each day.
They also claim that people could live 1.4 years longer if they just cut down the amount of television they watch to less than two hours.
The figures were calculated by using survey data on how much time people spend sitting down each day and previously published research into sedentary behaviour.
Natasha Stewart, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation, suggests that even small changes can help people be more active in their daily lives.
“This research only suggests a causal association between sedentary behaviour and a shorter life expectancy. It also used American data so we’d need to see more research to understand what it means for the UK population,” she notes.
“However, it does highlight what we already know about sedentary behavior being a risk factor for developing heart disease. And recent UK guidelines suggested we should all minimise the time we spend sitting down.
“We all need to be regularly active to keep our hearts healthy. So whether it’s by walking to the local shop rather than driving, or playing sport rather than watching it on TV, there are lots of ways to be more active and improve your health.”