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More Dangers of Sitting

Ladies: consider filing this news under “life isn’t fair”. New research from the American Cancer Society shows that women who spend more time sitting had a greater risk of cancer in general and three kinds of cancer in particular. The researchers reported that women who sit for six hours or more a day during their free time had a 65 percent higher risk of multiple myeloma (a cancer that forms in bone marrow), a 43 percent greater risk for ovarian cancer, a 10 percent greater risk for invasive breast cancer and a 10 percent greater risk for any type of cancer compared with women who sat for less than three hours during their free time. No such risks were seen in the men in the investigation, except those who were obese. The researchers analyzed data from 77,462 women and 69,260 men participating in the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort. The women were followed for an average of 15.8 years and the men for 13.2 years.

My take: A number of studies already have shown that too much sitting isn’t good for your long-term health. It has been linked to deposits of fat around the heart (pericardial fat) associated with cardiovascular disease, whether or not it was related to weight gain and regardless of whether or not study participants exercised. Sitting for more than seven hours a day has been linked to type 2 diabetes in women, even those who reported exercising for 30 minutes a day. This risk wasn’t seen in men or in women who sat for less than seven hours a day. Given the fact that so many people today have desk-bound jobs, it can be challenging to avoid prolonged sitting. But the more we learn about the health risks posed by sitting for hours at a time, the more important it becomes to find ways to move as much as possible.