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January 22, 2014 | 2 minute read

Sitting Longer Ups Women’s Risk of Earlier Death

Sitting for more than 11 hours a day increases older women’s risk for an earlier death compared to those who sit the least amount of time, regardless of how active the women are, suggests a study published this week in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The study included approximately 92,000 women who were 50–79 years old at the start of the study. The women answered questions about how much time they spent sitting and lying down during a typical day and night. They also reported how long they slept. Researchers subtracted sleeping time to determine daily sedentary time, broken into four categories: The lowest category was 4 or fewer hours and the highest more than 11 hours.

The average amount of time the women were sedentary was 8.5 hours a day.

After an average of 12 years, the women who reported being the most sedentary had greater risk of dying during the course of the study compared to those who were the least sedentary. Causes of death included cardiovascular risk, heart disease, and cancer. The greater amount of time the women reported sitting, the greater their risk of dying. The link took into account physcial activity, along with the women’s weight, age and other factors.


Source: Rebecca Sequin et al. “Sedentary Behavior and Mortality in Older Women.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Volume 46, Issue 2 , Pages 122-135, February 2014.

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