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Do you have ‘sitting disease’?

Nutrition and healthy eating

Nutrition-wise blog 

July 25, 2012

Do you have ‘sitting disease’?

By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.

With Mayo Clinic nutritionists

Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.


How many hours each day do you sit? At work? In the car? At meals? In front of the TV? 

You might be surprised to learn that:

  • 50 to 70 percent of people spend six or more hours sitting a day
  • 20 to 35 percent spend four or more hours a day watching TV

These numbers come from a recent study looking at sedentary behavior. The study looked at the most recently available data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys — a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States. This survey examines a nationally
representative sample of about 5,000 people each year.

This study went on to reveal that Americans’ sedentary lifestyle shortens their life expectancy. If Americans would cut their sitting time in half, their life expectancy would increase by roughly:

  • 2 years (by reducing sitting to less than 3 hours a day)
  • 1.4 years (by reducing TV time to less than 2 hours a day)

From previous studies we also know that a sedentary lifestyle is associated with increased risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers (breast and colon).

read full article here