LIVING

If You Sit A Lot During The Day, Here's How You Can Keep Death At Bay

Get off your butt. Seriously.

09/12/2017 11:51 EDT | Updated 09/12/2017 12:40 EDT
Getty Images

A few years ago, it was in the headlines all the time: "Your Office Chair Might Be Killing You." (That was us.) "Why Sitting All Day Is a Pain in the Butt (and Legs, and Heart...)." (Us again.)

But talk about all of the potential health dangers of sitting has somewhat fallen out of the news, even if it's still very much a concern. Today, at least, a new study was released that had some practical advice to help those who sit for hours during the day, but it does require a bit of effort.

Published in Annals of Internal Medicine, the study found that people who sit for extended periods of time and don't move for an hour or two had an increased risk of death over those who sat for the same amount of day over the course of a day, but broke it up by standing approximately every half hour.

"We tend to think of sedentary behaviour as just the sheer volume of how much we sit around each day," said Keith Diaz, PhD, the study's lead investigator, in a press release. "But previous studies have suggested that sedentary patterns — whether an individual accrues sedentary time through several short stretches or fewer long stretches of time — may have an impact on health."

Robert Daly

So it's good news, then, for people who use standing desks! Well, maybe.

As reported in December, those kinds of work stations can be just as bad for you, because "[any] stationary posture where energy expenditure is low may be detrimental to health, be it sitting or standing."

So what's the answer, since it's really hard to do a desk job without plunking your butt into a chair (not to mention bingeing on any number of Netflix shows)?

So what's the answer, since it's really hard to do a desk job without plunking your butt into a chair (not to mention bingeing on any number of Netflix shows)?

Taking those half-hour breaks seriously, and actually moving your body around, suggest the experts.

"[If] you have a job or lifestyle where you have to sit for prolonged periods of time, we suggest taking a movement break every half hour. This one behavior change could reduce your risk of death, although we don't yet know precisely how much activity is optimal," suggests Dr. Diaz.

You heard the man — get up and dance.

Alright, maybe that's just our interpretation. But quite seriously, think about setting those handy half-hour alarms on your phone's clock. Whether it means standing up to stretch or getting yourself some water, one thing we do know is that movement is beneficial.

More from HuffPost Canada: