The longer you sit, the earlier you die

Unlike most bad news, this one is best heard standing up: people who sit more than 6 hours a day are more likely to die earlier.

That’s even for people who exercise regularly after long sit-a-thons at the office and aren’t obese.

That’s the sobering news from a new study that tracked more than 100,000 adults for 14 years. Researchers from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta followed 53,000 men and 70,000 women and asked them to fill out questionnaires about their physical activity.

Even after adjusting for body mass index (BMI) and smoking, the researchers found that women who sit more than 6 hours a day were 37 percent more likely to die than those who sit less than 3 hours; for men, long-sitters were 17 percent more likely to die.

People who exercise regularly had a lower risk, but still significant, risk of dying. Those who sat a lot and moved less than three and a half hours per day are the most likely to die early: researchers found a 94 percent increased risk for women and 48 percent increase for men, they announced today in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

To squeeze in some more exercise at the office, try a few of these tips:

* Take frequent laps around the office or outside.

* Find an exercise buddy at work and agree to get off your butts several times each day.

* Stand up and stretch every hour. Set an alarm on your phone or computer to remind you.

* Do calf raises: while standing, push yourself up on your toes, hold, and release.

* While sitting, squeeze your butt: tense your gluteals, hold, and relax.

* While sitting, raise your shoulders up to your ears, then back down.

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