Workers with desk jobs are nearly twice as likely to suffer premature death compared to those who are active throughout the day, a study from Columbia University has found.
Using accelerometers, exercise researchers monitored the movements of 8,000 adults over the age of 45 and discovered that sitting or sedentary behaviour made up the equivalent of 12.3 hours over a 16-hour waking day, or about 77% on average.
Over the four-year study period, those who spent most time sitting were also most likely to have died, irrespective of the amount of time each individual spent exercising.
Last year, The Sun published the findings of a similar study conducted by Cambridge University. One in six deaths in the UK each year were related to the nine-to-five office lifestyle, which was causing a rise in type two diabetes, heart disease, cancer and strokes.
Speaking to The Independent, Monika Safford who worked on the Columbia study described sitting as “the new smoking” and said: “We need creative ways to ensure we not only cut back on the amount we sit but increase regular bursts of activity.”
Included in the report were a series of recommendations to combat the effects of prolonged inactivity, including suggesting people who spend most of their days at their desks get up and move around every half an hour.