Patel, A.V., Bernstein, L., Deka, A., Spencer Feigelson, H., Campbell, P.T., Gapstur, S.M.,… Thun, M.J. (2011). Leisure time spent sitting in relation to total mortality in a prospective cohort of US adults, American Journal of Epidemiology, 172, 419-429. Doi: 10.1093/aje/kwq155.
Aim. This study aimed to identify the association between hours of sitting and mortality rate.
Method. Participants were 123,216 individuals (69,776 women; mean age= 63.8 (SD=6) years) from a CPS-II Nutrition Cohort study directed by the American Cancer Society. Hours/ week of leisure-time sitting (not including work), total non-work physical activity, and all-cause mortality rates were recorded.
Results. Mortality rates were higher for individuals who spent more leisure time sitting (<3 versus > 6 hours/day), particularly for females. This effect occurs beyond the effect of physical exercise. Additionally, sitting time was associated with mortality due to cardiovascular disease (men & women), and cancer (women only). Finally, physical activity was also independently associated with all-cause mortality.
Conclusion. With the benefit of a large sample, this study suggests that short bouts of standing activity throughout the day (i.e., not sitting!) is likely associated with lower mortality rates.