Regular exercise won’t save you from the effects of prolonged sitting.

Article reference: Biswas et al., “Sedentary Time and Its Association With Risk for Disease Incidence, Mortality, and Hospitalization in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis”, Ann Intern Med. 2015;162(2):123-132. doi:10.7326/M14-1651

Exercise is good. Sitting is bad. We all kind of knew that already, but so long as we work in our daily exercise regimen, we’re fine, right? Not as much as we think, it turns out. A group at the University of Toronto has conducted a meta-analysis and concluded that “overall sedentary time, sitting time, television or screen time, or leisure time spent sitting” is independently correlated with higher risk for “all-cause mortality” defined as: “cardiovascular disease incidence or mortality, cancer incidence or mortality (breast, colon, colorectal, endometrial, and epithelial ovarian), and type 2 diabetes in adults”. The key word here is “independently”. That means that sedentary time, regardless of all other factors, contributes to an increased chance of mortality. That means that sitting is basically killing you, and you can’t prevent its effect, even if you exercise regularly. It’s not to say that exercising doesn’t do anything, in fact it’s still the activity that correlates the best with longevity. Exercise is still really good for you, it just doesn’t do anything for you while you’re sitting is all.

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