Even if you think you're the picture of physical activity, you're still probably sitting too much, according to a small new study.
Researchers at Northwestern University found that women who regularly exercise sit just as much as women who are more sedentary.
"I think some people assume, 'If I'm getting my 30 to 40 minutes of physical activity a day, I'm doing what I need to do for my health,'" study researcher Lynette L. Craft, an adjunct assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine, said in a statement. "Of course, exercise is very important and is associated with many positive health benefits, but negative health consequences are associated with prolonged sitting, and this study shows that just because you’re physically active doesn't mean you're sitting less."
The study, conducted by Craft in association with researchers at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, included 91 women in good health, between ages 40 and 75. They wore a device on their thigh that measured activity -- whether it was sitting, to standing, to 10-minute bouts of exercise -- while they were awake for a one-week period.
Even though many of the women did exercise their recommended amount each week -- at least 150 minutes of exercise -- they all also spent about nine hours a day sitting, according to the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity study.
At this point, research has made it pretty clear that too much sitting is no good for us. It's been linked with health problems ranging from high blood pressure, to increased weight, to even risk factors for heart disease.
For more reasons to stand up already, click through the slideshow:
Back in October, researchers from the University of Missouri published results suggesting that sitting throughout most of the day may put individuals at higher risk for diabetes, obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease -- even if you clear time for daily exercise.
As HuffPost editor Amanda Chan reported back in June, a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that women who sat six or more hours a day were nearly 40 percent more likely to die over a 13-year-stretch than those who sat less than three hours. As for men? Sitting for more than six hours was linked with an 18-percent higher risk of death.
An August study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that every hour you sit in front of the TV, you can slash your life expectancy by nearly 22 minutes. And watching the tube for six hours a day? That type of seriously sedentary behavior can cut your life expectancy by five years.
As MSNBC reported, sitting may be responsible for more than 170,000 cases of cancer yearly -- with breast and colon cancers being the most influenced by rates of physical activity (and inactivity). But according to that article, a little bit of walking can go a long way. "For many of the most common cancers, it seems like something as simple as a brisk walk for 30 minutes a day can help reduce cancer risk," Christine Friedenreich, an epidemiologist with Alberta Health Services told MSNBC.
As our UK compatriots recently wrote, researchers have found that putting pressure on certain body parts (i.e., your bottom) can produce up to 50 percent more fat than usual. HuffPost UK reported: "In a bid to explain why sedentary behaviour causes weight-gain, scientists believe that the precursors to fat cells turn into flab (and end up producing more) when subjected to prolonged periods of sitting down, otherwise known as 'mechanical stretching loads.'"
Not too long ago, Men's Health covered a study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, in which researchers from Louisiana found that people who sit for the majority of the day are 54 percent more likely to die of a heart attack. Indeed, the investigators found that sitting was an independent risk factor for serious cardiovascular events.
Yet another study shows sitting too much is simply unhealthy. It found those who sat for more than 11 hours a day were 40 percent more likely to die in the next three years than those who sat less than four hours per day.