The results revealed over 60 per cent of people worldwide spend more than three hours a day sitting down
Various studies over thelast decade have demonstrated how the excessive amount of time we spend sitting down may increase the risk of death, regardless of whether or not we exercise. Nearly four per cent of all deaths - approximately 433,000 per year -- are due to the fact that people worldwide spend more than three hours a day just sitting down, a study has found.
The new study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, estimates the proportion of deaths attributable to that 'chair effect' in the population of 54 countries, using data from 2002 to 2011.
"It is important to minimise sedentary behaviour in order to prevent premature deaths around the world," said lead author of the study Leandro Rezende from University of Sao Paulo in Brazil.
He also highlighted that "cutting down on the amount of time we sit could increase life expectancy by 0.20 years in the countries analysed."
These notable results reveal for the first time that over 60% of people worldwide spend more than three hours a day sitting down - the average in adults is 4.7 hours/day. In the UK the average is nearly 10 hours and in the USA it is nearly 11 hours/day.
The authors calculated that reducing the amount of time we sit by about two hours (by half) would mean a 2.3% decrease in mortality.
Even a more modest reduction in sitting time, by 10% or 30 minutes per day, could have an immediate impact on all causes of mortality (0.6%) in the countries evaluated.
For more information on how to reduce sitting time at work, please download our Active Working Guidelines.