An hour to stop the rot
The increased risk of death associated with sitting for eight
hours a day could be offset by one hour of physical activity a
The University of Queensland School of Human
Movement and Nutrition Studies Professor Wendy
Brown contributed to a study that analysed data from more
than one million people.
"People who sat for eight hours a day but were physically active
had a much lower risk of death than those who sat for fewer hours,
but were not physically active," Professor Brown said.
"This suggests physical activity is important, no matter how
long you spend sitting each day.
"Indeed, the risk of death associated with sitting for eight
hours a day was eliminated for people who did a minimum of one hour
of physical activity per day.
"The greatest risk of death was for people who both sat for long
periods of time and were inactive."
The findings, published in leading medical journal
The Lancet, support the recommendation made in the
Australian physical activity and sedentary behaviour
The guidelines advise all adults to accumulate between 30 and 60
minutes of physical activity per day, with the upper end of this
range offsetting the harmful effects of too much sitting.
Only about a quarter of the people included in the study did an
hour or more of exercise per day.
The researchers also found that sitting watching television for
more than three hours per day was linked to an increased risk of
death in all activity groups except the most active.
"We stress this is not because of a causal link between watching
TV and an increased risk of death," Professor Brown said.
"There could be a number of factors which contribute, such as
long hours watching TV being a marker of a generally unhealthier
lifestyle, or snacking while watching TV."
Professor Brown's study forms part of a special report
by The Lancet.
The Lancet has issued four
major research papers on physical inactivity to coincide
with the Rio de Janeiro Olympics - and two of these feature UQ
Dr Tracy Kolbe Alexander contributed to research on
the global economic cost
of non-communicable diseases from physical inactivity.
Meanwhile Professor Brown, Dr Kolbe Alexander and a visiting
research scholar from Brazil, Gregore Mielke also wrote a published
commentary about women's
participation in sport.
Media: Professor Wendy Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org
, +61 0401 718
287; Robert Burgin at UQ
+61 7 3346 3035, + 61 0448 410 364.