A study conducted in Australia by scientists at the School of Public Health of the University of Sydney, which has been published in Archives of Internal Medicine, has shown that there is a dose-dependent relationship between the scarcity of physical activity and the increased risk of dying from any cause. This means that the longer you stay at rest, the greater the chances of dying and that, in addition, that risk begins to increase after four hours of inactivity per day, and triggers if the sedentary reaches or exceeds eight hours.

The researchers analyzed the lifestyles of 222,497 people, who were 45 or older, followed by a period of more than four years (February 2006 to December 2010), and discovered that inactivity was directly related to 6.9% of the 5,405 deaths that occurred in this period. They also observed that the fact of suffering from cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes or even presenting overweight they were risk factors that, associated to the lack of physical activity, increased even more the probabilities of dying prematurely.

The risk of death begins to increase after four hours of inactivity per day, and is triggered if the sedentary lifestyle reaches or exceeds eight hours

The authors of the study explain that it has been demonstrated that inactivity causes alterations in metabolic function, and that this has as a consequence an increase in the levels of triglycerides in the blood and a decrease in 'good' cholesterol and sensitivity to insulin, and could also affect the metabolism of carbohydrates.

The problem is that most of the time we stay awake we spend sitting, or doing actions that involve minimal energy expenditure, and even work activity is for many people have to sit for hours, which is clearly harmful to health. Therefore, the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) to practice moderate or intense exercise a minimum of 150 minutes per week is being questioned as insufficient, taking into account that the rest of our daily activity is excessively relaxed.

In the opinion of the scientists who have carried out the study, the data obtained confirm the urgent need to modify the lifestyle of the population to establish a better balance between rest and physical activity, and recommend that doctors ask their patients to pass less time sitting.

Prolonged sitting: Longer bouts of physical inactivity linked to greater risk of death - TomoNews (November 2019).