According to an advisory from the American Heart Association, published in the journal Circulation, prolonged sitting is harmful to our health, period. And exercise alone is not enough to counteract the risks associated with spending too much time in our chairs or on the couch.
After looking at the latest data concerning sedentary behavior in the United States, AHA experts concluded that Americans spend far too many hours sitting or lying down during the day—about 6 to 8 for younger adults and slightly more for those 60 and older—and all that inactivity may be detrimental to our well-being.
“Regardless of how much physical activity someone gets, prolonged sedentary time could negatively impact the health of your heart and blood vessels,” explained AHA advisory panel chair Deborah Rohm Young. Experts agree that a sedentary lifestyle may be linked to a higher risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and even premature death.
But just how much sitting is too much? That remains to be seen, say Young and her colleagues, who plan to continue their research on the subject. For now, their best advice is “Sit less, move more.”