If you’re reading this report at work, while sitting down, you may want to get on your feet and step away from the computer screen after you’re done: A new study has found a link between the amount of time you spend sitting at work and the risks of obesity.
Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis found that women who spend 31-180 minutes sitting at work are 1.53 times more likely to be obese than those who spend 30 minutes or less of daily sedentary time at their jobs. They also found women who spend more than six hours sitting are 1.70 times more likely to be obese, Medical News
"Sedentary time is accumulated in various settings, such as in the home and workplace and during transit. Given that adults can spend 8 or more hours per day at work, workplaces may be an ideal setting to reduce sedentary time through implementation of worksite policies or changes to the physical work environment," said the researchers, who published their findings in Preventing Chronic Disease, a journal of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
Federal health guidelines recommend that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity (such as brisk walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity (such as jogging) each week. But most American’s don’t hit that mark, studies show.
Individuals who have a sedentary lifestyle are at risk of several conditions, including high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and certain cancers. Additionally, overweight and obesity are significant risk factors for several chronic diseases.
The findings of the new study were based on researcher interviews with 1,891 people from four Missouri metropolitan areas, between the ages of 21-65 years old, who were employed outside the home for 20 or more hours per week. All participants were free of physical limitations that prevented walking or bicycling.
The team notes that the proportion of obese participants in their study (33.6 percent) was similar to the national average, and that the participants sat for an average of 3-6 hours at work.
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