Cut Time Sitting to Extend Life

Restricting the amount of time spent seated every day to less than three hours might boost the life expectancy of US adults by an extra two years, indicates an analysis of published research in the online journal BMJ Open. And cutting down TV viewing to less than two hours every day might extend life by almost 1.4 years, the findings suggest.

The authors caution that their findings should not be interpreted as meaning that someone who leads a more sedentary lifestyle can expect to live two or 1.4 years less than someone who is more active.

"The results of this study indicate that extended sitting time and TV viewing may have the potential to reduce life expectancy in the USA," they write.

"Given that the results from objective monitoring of sedentary time in NHANES has indicated that adults spend an average of 55 percent of their day engaged in sedentary pursuits, a significant shift in behavior change at the population level is required to make demonstrable improvements in life expectancy," they conclude.

Further research will be required before recommendations on safe levels of sedentary behavior can be made, they add.