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IS SITTING THE NEW SMOKING?


Aug. 10, 2019 The Heart Foundation

What are you doing as you read this?  Having a cup of coffee?  Taking a break from work?  Getting ready for bed?  Whatever you’re up to, chances are you’re sitting down.  We get it, your feet are tired!  That chair is comfortable.  What are you supposed to do—standon the subway?

Most of us have heard the phrase “sitting is the new smoking” referring to the growing epidemic of sedentary lifestyles in the United States.  But is this true?  Is sitting in a chair that bad for you?  We decided to find out.

THE FACTS

  • Over 25% of American adults sit for more than 8 hours every day. 44% of those people get little to no exercise.
  • The average American watches approximately 3 hours of television every day.
  • The average American is active less than 20 minutes every day.
  • 60-75 minutes of moderate activity (steady walking) can counter the effects of too much sitting.

A 2011 study documented 800,000 people and their sitting habits.  The study found that people who sit the most, compared to people who sit the least, have a greater risk of disease and death:

  • 112% increased risk of diabetes.
  • 147% increased risk of cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke.
  • 90% increased risk of death from cardiovascular events.
  • 49% increased risk of death from any cause.
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