Oh, this was a health study I hated to read about. A study in the most recent issue of the Journal of the America College of Cardiology says that “prolonged sitting” such as in front of the television and computer is bad for your health.
The study was conducted by Emmanuel Stamatakis, a Ph.D. epidemiologist at University College London, and his colleagues. The study followed 4,500 Scottish people who were 35 and older and recorded their television time, computer time, and other health behaviors. More than half of those in the study admitted to watching television or sitting at the computer between two and four hours each day. About 30 percent of those questioned admitted to spending more than four hours a day in front of the television or the computer, although doing this for work or school was excluded. Whew!
What they found was that the people who spent at least four hours a day sitting in front of the television or computer were twice as likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular problem as those who kept the viewing under two hours. The study also showed that those who sit a lot are more likely to die of any cause – 50 percent more likely.
By the end of the study, 215 of the subjects had died due to a cardiovascular problem, such as a heart attack, and another 325 had died of another cause.
Now, you may think to yourself “But, I also exercise 30-45 minutes a day.” Researchers found that really didn’t cancel out all the time spent sitting.
The bottom line is sitting is bad, but the researchers really don’t know why. Studies done on animals have shown that sitting slows down lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme that breaks down fats in the blood like cholesterol and triglycerides. When this enzyme slows down, other substance levels climb, so that may be why sitting is bad. Another problem is we tend to eat junk food while sitting.