Sitting all day at a computer could take years off your life

New research reveals that sitting down all day in front of a computer, TV or games console is knocking years off your life.

Are you sitting comfortably? Bad news, I'm afraid: sitting down all day in front of a computer and all evening in front of the TV is killing you.

That's according to new research, which reveals that those who sit for longer have a far greater chance of dying than those who don't sit as long.

The Atlantic reports that Australian think tank the Sax Institute surveyed 222,497 Australian adults aged 45 years or older. The shockingly blunt results show the longer the ageing Aussies surveyed spent sitting, the more likely they were to die in the next three years -- and that takes into account other factors such as age, weight and general health.

Suddenly, I bet you don't feel so bad about never getting a seat on the bus. Overcrowding on public transport is literally saving your life.

The study finds that people who spend more than 11 hours per day parked on their backsides have a 40 per cent higher chance of dying in the next three years than people who sit for less than 4 hours per day.

And it gets worse. I would say you might want to sit down for this next bit, but, well... best not. Because it turns out that even if you exercise the rest of the time, spending most of the day on your 'arris still has an adverse effect on your lifespan. In other words, it's not enough to sit all day then go to the gym for a bit -- you want to go to the gym and get off your derriere during the day if you want to live.

If only it were that easy. I sit in my chair writing this, just like many of you in offices and workplaces and schools sit reading it. It's easy to say let's spend less time on the sofa watching telly or playing on our Xboxes, but we have less say in the matter when it comes to work and education.

So what are the options? You could stand to attention with a stand-up desk, bike as you type with a desk cycle, or wobble as you work on an exercise ball.

More realistically, you could start using the toilet at the other end of the office, or getting up more often to fetch yourself more glasses of water. You can show this article to colleagues to persuade them to have meetings walking around, like in the West Wing. Or you can just spend a few minutes every hour standing up and gazing into the distance, and whenever anyone asks you what you're doing reply, "I don't want to die. Not like this, man. Not like this..."

How much time do you spend on your keister? How do you sneak exercise into your working day? Take a stand in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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