You know the old joke that today they say something is good for you, tomorrow it’s bad, and the day after it’s good again? Recently there was a lot of press that sitting 3 hours a day could take years off your lifespan. “Sitting for More Than Three Hours a Day Cuts Life Expectancy”, so said the Wall Street Journal:
“Sitting down for more than three hours a day can shave a person’s life expectancy by two years, even if he or she is physically active and refrains from dangerous habits like smoking, according to a study to be published on Tuesday in the online journal BMJ Open.” (from the Wall Street Journal)
Yeah but I thought: nowadays, a major part of the economy involves sitting for more than 3 hours. Start with office work. But add truckers, and pilots, and other kinds of drivers, people working in many kinds of factories, I mean, are we all doomed?
Oh don’t panic just yet. “Don’t Blame Sitting–Yet–for Shorter Lives”, so said the Wall Street Journal a short while later:
“Headlines last week suggested that people who spend a lot of time sitting were in mortal danger. Sitting too long each day could shave two years off one’s lifespan—or, for the glass-half-full crowd, sitting less could extend life by two years, the media reports said.
The study that led to the news accounts cautioned that no such conclusion could be drawn from the available research. Sitting studies haven’t yet fully gotten off the ground, thanks to technological, cost and ethical limitations. Yet the evidence so far all points in the same direction: that sitting more is tied to higher mortality.
But that doesn’t mean the act of sitting itself is deadly. Instead, it could be that people who spend more time sitting are less healthy to begin with, or that those who sit less are using that time in healthier ways such as exercising.” (fromthe Wall Street Journal)
Phew. That’s a release. I can sit down again!