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Sitting May Up Your Risk of Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer

Update Date: Feb 20, 2013 11:27 AM EST
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Here is some bad news for office workers: a study conducted by researchers from Kansas State University has found that sitting down for long stretches of a time can increase your risk for chronic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even some types of cancer.

The study was conducted with about 63,000 Australian men aged 45 to 65. The study highlighted men because men are more likely than women to suffer from chronic diseases. The men were assessed on things like level of physical activity and time spent sitting each day. Researchers took into account factors like age, income and education.

Fortunately, men who sat for less than four hours a day had no elevated risk of chronic disease. However, for men who sat for longer than four hours a day, the risk for chronic disease increased. For men who sat for longer than eight hours a day, the risk for chronic disease was the greatest. In particular, men who sat for longer than eight hours each day were more likely to suffer from diabetes.

"We saw a steady stair-step increase in risk of chronic diseases the more participants sat," Kansas State University researcher Richard Rosenkranz, an assistant professor of human nutrition, said in a statement. "The group sitting more than eight hours clearly had the highest risk."

RedOrbit reports that some of the risk of chronic diseases can be attributed to the nature of men's occupations, like for office workers and truck drivers. However, researchers believe that it seems likely that many of these men are not squeezing in a lot of physical activity at home either. That lack of exercise helps to increase the risk of chronic disease.

Researchers do point out, though, that it has been well-established that physical activity reduces the risk of chronic disease. Comparatively little attention has been paid to reducing sitting.

Rosenkranz says that he hopes that, as more attention is paid to the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle, it will become more accepted to move around while at work, according to KMBZ Kansas City.

The study was published this month in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

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