Glued to your seat at work? Stuck to your sofa while watching TV and popping in snacks? Love sitting at the dining table for long and chatting?
A new research has shown that all this may be bad for not just your stomach, but your heart too. Standing up more often may reduce your chances of dying early, even if you are already physically active.
Watching TV, using computers and electronic games can involve sitting for long periods and have become a big part of leisure time. The new research has shown that people who spend less time on these things have better health than those who spend too much time on them.
The study of more than two lakh people was published in Archives of Internal Medicine today. An accompanying editorial in the journal said the evidence was so strong that doctors start prescribing "reduced daily sitting time" to their patients.
The study found that adults who sat 11 or more hours per day had a 40% increased risk of dying in the next three years compared with those who sat for fewer than four hours a day. This was after taking into account their physical activity, weight and health status.
"These results have important public health implications," said study lead author Dr Hidde van der Ploeg, a senior research fellow at the University of Sydney's School of Public Health, in a press release.
"That morning walk or trip to the gym is still necessary, but it's also important to avoid prolonged sitting. Our results suggest the time people spend sitting at home, work and in traffic should be reduced by standing or walking more."
The results are the first landmark findings to be published from the Sax Institute's 45 and Up Study, the largest ongoing study of healthy ageing in the Southern Hemisphere.
Commenting on the study, Dr P Jaigopal, interventional cardiologist, said: “This is an important finding.