The more hours you spend sitting during the day the greater your chance of dying. If you are more active during the day, your chance of dying is less, conclude researchers from Pennington Biomedical Research Center from a study they did of seventeen thousand people.
The researchers used data from people who took part in a national survey in 1981, the Canada Fitness Survey. The participants were between eighteen and ninety when the study started, and were followed for thirteen years. From the data collected, the researchers conclude that there is a direct relationship between the amount of physical activity and chance of dying. This is illustrated in the figure below.
If the participants that were active almost the whole day, 95 percent were still alive after thirteen years. Of the participants that were sedentary nearly the whole day, only 80 percent were still alive.
The heavier the subjects, the more damaging a sedentary lifestyle was. Or, if you like, the heavier the people were, the better a physically active lifestyle was for them.
Physical activity does not protect so much against cancer, but is effective against circulatory diseases. The positive effect was even bigger for ‘other causes of death’. These include respiratory diseases, injuries and violence, nervous system disorders and digestive system disorders.
“Physicians should counsel patients to not only increase their level of physical activity and maintain a normal body weight but to reduce the amount of time they spend being sedentary in general and sitting in particular”
, the researchers conclude.
sources:Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009 Apr 3. [Epub ahead of print].
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