HEALTHY LIVING
07/10/2012 11:02 am ET

Sitting Fewer Than Three Hours A Day Could Add Two Years To Lifespan: Study

We've all heard of the potential health issues linked with too much sitting, including increased risk of diabetes, cancer and even premature death. Now, a new analysis shows how many years of your life could be saved by getting up off your caboose.

The research suggests that by sitting fewer than three hours a day, you could theoretically add an extra two years to your lifespan.

And by spending two fewer hours a day watching television, a person could add as many as 1.38 years to his or her lifespan, reported researchers from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at the Louisiana State University System and Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

"Reducing sedentary behaviours such as sitting and television viewing may have the potential to increase life expectancy in the USA," the researchers wrote in the study, published in the journal BMJ Open.

However, they also noted that their finding is based on an assumption that sitting too much is linked with health problems and premature death, and does not prove that one causes the other.

The study is based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey taken during 2005 and 2006, and 2009 and 2010, as well as data from five other studies that included nearly 167,000 adults. The researchers calculated the population attributable fraction (PAF) of sitting on death -- meaning they looked at how sitting affects a population's risk of death on a whole, and not on a singular level.

For more ways sitting may impact health, click through the slideshow:

6 Reasons Why Sitting Is Bad For Health

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