We were hoping that even though we spend the majority of our working hours tethered to our computer, the fact that we exercise each morning would negate the consequences of sitting all day. But, according to the release of a 13-year study, even us athletes-by-morning, desk-jobbers-by-day have a higher risk of death than slackers who don’t exercise yet don’t sit all day either.
You mean, running, swimming and biking all those miles each morning aren’t buying us extra time? According to the study published in the latest American Journal of Epidemiology, no.
Researchers from the American Cancer Society reported that those of us who sit for more than six hours a day have an increased risk of death over those who don’t sit as much — even if we exercise. And for some reason, women fared worse than men. Females who exercised had a 37 percent higher chance of dying than those who sat less than three hours a day, while men had an 18 percent chance. In all instances, heart disease was the number one contributor to death.
Now before you get all fitnesser-than-thou, this is not to say that those who don’t exercise don’t have an even greater risk of death, because they do. In fact, inactive women with the highest amount of sitting were 94 percent more likely to die. For men, it was 48 percent. But still, just the fact that sitting at our jobs can undo all that time in the gym?
It’s not as if we haven’t been told before though. Doctors have recommended for years that we should spread out physical activity throughout the day, but it’s not exactly practical to go run a mile, step into a meeting, run another mile, jump on a conference call, run another mile, meet with your boss so you can tell him what a
jerk delightful leader he is, run another mile and write the monthly report, and run another mile just to make it back in time for some juicy office gossip around the water cooler. You see?
Of course, we shouldn’t take this study as an invitation to blow off our morning (or evening) workout ritual (remember, our risk of death is even higher if we don’t exercise), but somehow this makes us consider the merits of a two-for (workouts a day, that is). Because who really needs time to cook, clean, spend time with our loved ones and otherwise have a life?
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