Are you sitting down for this? We hope not since a new study from the American Cancer Society says that the more you sit, the shorter your life span. And it doesn’t matter how often you hit the gym.

The study, published online in the American Journal of Epidemiology, links sitting for long periods of time to an earlier death, even when you factor out obesity and an overall lack of physical activity. This means that if you want to live longer, you need to reduce the length of time you take a seat. Sounds like it’s time to do some laps around the office.

Researchers led by Dr. Alpa Patel issued initial surveys to 123,216 U.S. adults (53,440 men and 69,776 women) who had no prior history of cancer, heart attack, stroke or lung disease. The majority of these particpants were ages 50-74, and the average age was approximately 62 years old. Researchers monitored these participants for 14 years (from 1993 to 2006), examining the amount of time spent sitting and doing physical activity in relation to mortality.

They found that women who sat more than six hours a day were 37% more likely to die during the study than those who sat fewer than three hours a day. Men who sat more than six hours a day were 18% more likely to die than those sitting fewer than three hours per day.

The figures were even scarier for participants who didn’t exercise. Women and men who both sat more than six hours a day and were less physically active were 94% and 48% more likely to die, respectively. However, the study’s authors maintain that sitting's influence on death risk remained significant even for more active participants.

“Several factors could explain the positive association between time spent sitting and higher all-cause death rates,” Patel said. “Prolonged time spent sitting, independent of physical activity, has been shown to have important metabolic consequences, and may influence things like triglycerides, high density lipoprotein, cholesterol, fasting plasma glucose, resting blood pressure and leptin, which are biomarkers of obesity and cardiovascular and other chronic diseases.”

In laymen’s terms, you desk job may actually be killing you.

How else is your office hurting you? Check out this MainStreet article to learn more about these 6 serious office health risks.

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