Sitting at Work Tied to Higher Risk for Premature Death

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

Increase in risk ranges from 16 to 34 percent for all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 24, 2024 (HealthDay News) — Individuals who predominantly sit at work face a higher risk for all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality, according to a study published online Jan. 19 in JAMA Network Open.

Wayne Gao, Ph.D., from Taipei Medical University in Taiwan, and colleagues assessed whether health outcomes are associated with prolonged occupational sitting across various levels of physical activity in seemingly healthy adults. The analysis included 481,688 individuals followed for a mean 12.85 years.

The researchers found that when adjusting for sex, age, education, smoking, drinking, and body mass index, individuals who mostly sat at work had a higher all-cause mortality risk (hazard ratio [HR], 1.16; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.11 to 1.20) and CVD-related mortality risk (HR, 1.34; 95 percent CI, 1.22 to 1.46) compared with those who were mostly nonsitting at work. There was no increased risk for all-cause mortality among individuals alternating sitting and nonsitting at work (HR, 1.01; 95 percent CI, 0.97 to 1.05). Participants with a personal activity intelligence score >100 experienced a reduction in the elevated mortality risk associated with prolonged occupational sitting. An increase in leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) by 15 and 30 minutes per day, respectively, for individuals mostly sitting at work and engaging in low (15 to 29 minutes per day) or no (<15 minutes per day) LTPA was associated with a reduction in mortality to a level similar to that of inactive individuals who mostly do not sit at work.

“Emphasizing the associated harms and suggesting workplace system changes may help society to denormalize this common behavior, similar to the process of denormalizing smoking,” the authors write.

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