The Research Says: Walk Away From Your Desk!

By: Matt Weik

It seems for years that we have generalized the health risks of living a sedentary lifestyle—but we’ve never really pinpointed exactly how many hours a day of being sedentary would be needed to induce health risks, specifically heart disease.

Researchers have now released data that explains at what point people need to worry about their lifestyle choices and consider changing them. According to their research, being sedentary for more than 10 hours a day shows an increased risk of stroke, heart attacks, and heart disease. This data was pulled from nine different studies consisting of over 700,000 individuals.  They specifically looked at long-term studies (half of the studies followed individuals for over 11 years) and analyzed at what point the individuals were having health issues and exactly how sedentary they were each day.

With being sedentary for 10 hours a day, you’re increasing the likelihood of heart disease and other heart-related issues by 8%. When you bumped it up to 12 hours per day (this includes sitting, driving, low-activity), the percentage increased to 14%.  These figures also do not take into account the person’s current weight, daily physical activity levels, and body mass index (BMI).

The researchers mentioned that there definitely needs to be more research done before they can put together actual guidelines for people to follow. However, for the time being, they are recommending that people do no stay sedentary for more than 10 hours a day. They also recommend that everyone should get some sort of exercise in every day and to stay active.  By doing so, they mention it lowers the risks associated with cardiovascular disease. No surprise there!

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Having an office job where you are sitting at a desk all day does not help your case in relation to this study. We all know someone who stares at a computer all day long with the ability to only get up from their chair for lunch and bathroom breaks.  For the sake of this study and to help your overall health, try to stand up throughout the day.  Stretch if you can.  Or get up and walk to an associates desk or office rather than emailing or calling them on the phone.  One researcher said, “Increasing physical activity, avoiding prolonged sitting time, workplace interventions such as sit-stand work stations and activity-permissive desks may be useful to lower sedentary time.”

We all understand how busy workdays can be. But find time throughout the day to get up and move, even if just for a little while. It will help keep you healthier in the long run.

Check out the IML Blog here at for more useful research spotlights!

Source: “Only Extreme Sitting Linked to Increased Heart Disease Risk | Fox News.” Fox News. FOX News Network, 20 July 2016. Web.