Your desk job may increase death risk, study shows

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New research from Taiwan is sounding the alarm about the dangers of sitting too much at work.

This study, published in JAMA Network Open, found that people who spend most of their day sitting are 16% more likely to die early compared to those in more active jobs.

The Silent Threat of Sitting

Led by Dr. Chi-Pang Wen from the National Health Research Institute in Zhunan, the study looked at nearly half a million Taiwanese people. They found that sitting a lot at work can have serious health consequences.

It’s not just about being inactive; sitting itself might be particularly harmful. It can weaken your muscles, reduce blood flow, and even cause inflammation.

These issues can lead to serious problems like diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and poor kidney function.

A Greater Risk for Women

The risk of early death due to prolonged sitting was found to be slightly higher for women (21%) than men (13%). Heart disease risks also soared by 34% for those who sit a lot at their jobs, regardless of gender.

But There’s Hope

The good news is that small changes can make a big difference. The study discovered that combining sitting with some movement at work, like walking around or standing, didn’t increase the risk of dying.

Also, just adding 15 to 30 minutes of exercise a day outside of work hours could bring the risk of early death down to the level of those with non-sitting jobs.

Workplace Changes Can Help

The researchers suggest workplace changes like regular activity breaks, standing desks, and encouraging physical activity can help counter the risks of sitting. Even benefits like gym memberships could make a difference.

In essence, this study is a wake-up call about the hidden dangers of our desk-bound lifestyles. It’s a reminder that moving more, even in small ways, can have a big impact on our health and longevity.

If you care about wellness, please read studies about how ultra-processed foods and red meat influence your longevity, and why seafood may boost healthy aging.

For more information about wellness, please see recent studies that olive oil may help you live longer, and vitamin D could help lower the risk of autoimmune diseases.

The research findings can be found in JAMA Network Open.

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