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Gym-Goers Sit a Lot Too

Every week, women spend close to three days sitting, more than a day standing, and almost half a day walking about, whether the women exercise the recommended 150 minutes per week or not, finds a new study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

For the study, 91 healthy women wore activity monitors for one week. Every ten minutes the device monitored movement, such as walking, as well as sitting or standing.
Researchers then categorized the women into three groups: women who got little to no aerobic exercise; women who accumulated 60 to 150 minutes of exercise; women who met the weekly 150-minutes government aerobic guidelines.

After seven days, there was no difference in overall sitting time between the most inactive women and those who exercised the most. Overall, the women spent almost two-thirds – 63 percent – of their waking day sitting. When the researchers looked at non-aerobic activities for the week, they found it broke into 64 hours sitting; 28 hours standing; and 11 hours walking at a non-aerobic pace, such as taking out the trash.

Demonstrating that sitting is a distinct behavior from exercising is important, given the emerging field of sedentary behavior and health, note the authors. A growing body of research links high amounts of sitting time to premature death and metabolic factors linked to high cancer risk.

Source: Lynette L Craft, Theodore W Zderic, Susan M Gapstur, Erik H VanIterson, Danielle M Thomas, Juned Siddique and Marc T Hamilton. “Evidence that women meeting physical activity guidelines do not sit less: An observational inclinometry study.” International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2012.

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