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Movement From Australia to Great Britain, researcher teams confirm that the more a person sits, the greater the risk of chronic diseases. Emma S. George, University of Western Sydney (Australia), and colleagues, reported on their analysis of data from subjects enrolled in Australia’s 45 and Up Study, involving more than 267,000 people and for which a subset of 63,048 men, ages 45 to 65 years, was selected.

The team found that, compared with those who reported sitting four hours or less per day, those who sat for more than four hours per day were significantly more likely to report having a chronic disease such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. The reporting of chronic diseases rose as participants indicated they sat more. Those sitting for at least six hours were significantly more likely to report having diabetes. The study authors conclude: “Our findings suggest that higher volumes of sitting time are significantly associated with diabetes and overall chronic disease, independent of physical activity.” Separate findings from Joseph Henson, from the University of Leicester (United Kingdom), and colleagues report that simply rising from the chair and moving a little may help ward off type 2 diabetes among individuals at risk even more than engaging in strenuous physical activity. The team found that time spent sedentary significantly correlated to negative metabolic factors including 2-hour glucose level, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides, writing: “In adults at high risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus, time spent sedentary is strongly and adversely associated with cardiometabolic health and may be a more important indicator of poor health than [moderate-to-vigorous physical activity].”


  1. Emma S. George, Richard R. Rosenkranz., Gregory S. Kolt. “Chronic disease and sitting time in middle-aged Australian males: findings from the 45 and Up Study.” International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2013, 10:20. Henson J., Yates T., Biddle S.J., Edwardson C.L., Khunti K., Wilmot E.G., Gray L.J., Gorely T., Nimmo M.A., Davies M.J. “Associations of objectively measured sedentary behaviour and physical activity with markers of cardiometabolic health.” Diabetologia. 2013 Mar 1.