Science Says Sitting At Your Desk Won't Kill You If You Do One Thing

by Leigh Weingus

Are you freaking out because you heard sitting is the new smoking? A new study suggests as long as you get enough exercise, you're probably OK.

The study, conducted out of University of Exeter and University College London, looked at data from over 5,000 UK residents over the course of 16 years.

In addition to looking at how much the residents sat every day, researchers took factors like age, general health, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, whether or not residents smoked, diet, alcohol consumption and exercise into account.

The researchers found if people were using London's public transportation system and spending more time walking (in other words, exercising), the amount of time they sat didn't seem to have much of an impact on their mortality.

Of course, this is a small study, and past studies found, even if you exercise, prolonged sitting leads to heart disease, diabetes and cancer and shave years off your life.

In fact, one large study, which looked at the sitting habits of 92,000 women over 12 years, found sitting for more than 11 hours a day was linked to increased risk of death.

It looks like the jury is still out on whether or not your exercise habits can cancel out all that sitting.

But in the meantime, it's probably in your best interest to take a stroll around the block.

Citations: Sitting for hours is actually OK if you get some exercise, study says (Mashable), Is sitting down bad for my health? (The Guardian)