Sitting at That Computer Is Shortening Your Life

Too much time in the chair increases risk of just about everything

By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 12, 2010 7:20 AM CST

(Newser) – Hey you, reading this at your computer: You might want to get up and stretch. A new study shows that every hour per day spent in front of that monitor raises your risk of early death from heart disease by a whopping 18%—ie, someone who spends an average of two hours a day is 36% more susceptible than someone who spends none, even if they're not obese and exercise. It also raises the risk of dying from cancer by 8%, and all causes 11%. The Australian study actually looked at more than 8,000 people who watched more than four hours of TV a day, but the problem isn't the tube, it's sitting down for long periods, the Independent reports.

"Normal activities of daily living that involved standing up and moving the muscles in the body have been converted to sitting," the scientist heading the study said. Many people "simply shift from one chair to another—from the chair in the car to the chair in the office to the chair in front of the television." The researchers' recommendation for the public: In addition to regular exercise, "avoid sitting for prolonged periods and keep in mind to 'move more, more often'."

A new study concludes that every hour a day you spend sitting at a computer increases your risk of early death by 11%.
A new study concludes that every hour a day you spend sitting at a computer increases your risk of early death by 11%.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
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