Whenever talk about your health starts, someone is always quick to point out that if you hit the gym a few times a week, your health could greatly improve over all. This belief has been reinforced throughout the years and because of it, more and more people are getting out there and hitting the gym whenever they can. But a new study suggests that if you work out at the gym every day, but also spend a good amount of your day sitting down, going to the gym is in fact doing very little to decrease your risk of death.
The study was conducted by Alpa Patel, a researcher at the American Cancer Society (ACS) and his colleagues. They analyzed 123,216 participants (53,440 men and 69,776 women), all whom has no history of cancer, heart attack, stroke or emphysema. The participants were followed for 13 years, from 1993 to 2006.
The study found that women who reported more than six hours of sitting a day (outside of work) were 37% more likely to die during the 13 year time period the were studied than women who sat fewer than three hours a day. The men who were studied were 18% more likely to die if they sat more than six hours a day (also outside of work) than those who sat fewer than three hours a day. These results remained virtually unchanged after the participants adjusted their physical activity level.
Patel said of his research that several factors could explain the positive association between time spent sitting and higher all-cause death rates, saying “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.”
This study does not seem to bode well for me and people like me, who work very long hours in front of a computer (while also sitting down) and work out a few times a week.