Plug this in to your fitness calculus: Even gym rats may face an early grave if they spend a good chunk of their leisure time sitting, a new study suggests. Women who spend 6 or more hours a day sitting as they watch TV or surf the web or whatever are 40% more likely to die sooner than women who cut that time in half, reports CNN. The same holds true for men, though their risk is only 20% higher, regardless of daily exercise.
One obvious reason is that couch potatoes are more prone to scarf down unhealthy snacks and drinks. But researchers say prolonged sitting also suppresses the immune system and decreases blood circulation. The study in the American Journal of Epidemology suggests that “public health guidelines should be refined to include reducing time spent sitting in addition to promoting physical activity.” So get up and do a lap after you've read this. Then click here read some more about the perils of sitting.