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Sitting too much increases your risk of death, especially in middle and lower income countries

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Peer-reviewed: This work was reviewed and scrutinised by relevant independent experts.

Observational study: A study in which the subject is observed to see if there is a relationship between two or more things (eg: the consumption of diet drinks and obesity). Observational studies cannot prove that one thing causes another, only that they are linked.

People: This is a study based on research using people.

Spending a long time sitting each day increases your risk of heart disease and death, according to international researchers. The team studied just over 100,000 people from 2003 to 2001, and say those who sat for eight or more hours a day over that time had a 17% to 50% higher risk of death or major heart problems like heart attacks or stroke compared to those who sat for less than four hours a day. This difference in risk was higher in lower- and middle-income countries, they say, but can be somewhat countered by increasing physical activity.

Journal/conference: JAMA Cardiology

Link to research (DOI): 10.1001/jamacardio.2022.1581

Organisation/s: Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, China

Funder: See paper for funding

Media release

From: JAMA

About The Study: In this study including 105,000 participants from 21 countries, high amounts of sitting time were associated with increased risk of all-cause death and cardiovascular disease in economically diverse settings, especially in low-income and lower-middle–income countries.

Authors: Wei Li, Ph.D., of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College in Beijing, and Scott A. Lear, Ph.D., of Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, are the corresponding authors.


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