Inactivity researchers are discovering that sitting isn't just harmful to your health, it's so detrimental that a little bit of exercise doesn't offset its negative effects.
As The Washington Post put it, "The message is clear: Sitting for hours at a time might be a health risk regardless of what you do with the rest of your day." ("Desk jobs can be killers, literally" - July 17, 2013).
The Post cited Alpa Patel's 2010 study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology (Leisure Time Spent Sitting in Relation to Total Mortality in a Prospective Cohort of US Adults), which found a common link between physical inactivity and cardiovascular disease mortality even after adjusting for smoking, body mass index, and other factors.
"Up until very recently, if you exercised for 60 minutes or more a day, you were considered physically active, case closed," Travis Saunders, a PhD student and certified exercise physiologist told Runner's World ("Sitting is the new smoking-even for runners" - July 20, 2013). "Now a consistent body of emerging research suggests it is entirely possible to meet current physical activity guidelines while still being incredibly sedentary, and that sitting increases your risk of death and disease, even if you are getting plenty of physical activity."
Adding to the concern, a study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health found that sitting too much "may increase the risk of disability in people over the age of 60" for "activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and walking," USA Todayreported ("Don't just sit there! It could be harmful later in life" - February 19, 2014).