Sitting Down Too Much Is Worse Than Smoking, According To New Study

Two men sitting at desks in office
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Sitting has just become a lot more dangerous, according to data from a new study. BGR reports that a sedentary lifestyle is worse for your health than smoking, diabetes, and heart disease. This means spending too much time sitting around could eventually negatively impact your health.

The study was conducted by Dr. Wael Jaber, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, and was published on Friday in the JAMA Network Open. The study surveyed roughly 122,007 participants, who were put through a series of treadmill workouts, between early 1991 and late 2014. The doctors involved in the study were able to record individual fitness levels of the patients and then follow up to predict mortality rates. The researchers were looking to record the benefits of exercise and fitness on mortality rates.

According to the data, lack of cardiovascular fitness is a huge risk factor for death. Lack of exercise is, according to the extensive data gathered, is actually worse than being a current smoker.

“Being unfit on a treadmill or in an exercise stress test has a worse prognosis, as far as death, than being hypertensive, being diabetic or being a current smoker,” Jaber told CNN. “We’ve never seen something as pronounced as this and as objective as this.”

The researchers went as far as to insist that a sedentary lifestyle should actually be considered the same way people consider diseases, and recommend exercise as the obvious treatment.

Jaber noted, based on the data collected, the study confirmed that living an active lifestyle and staying fit will ultimately lead to a longer life. He believes there are no limits to the benefits to be gained from aerobic exercise. The study showed that regular exercise benefitted both men and women, but the gains were “probably a little more pronounced in females,” Jaber said.

“Whether you’re in your 40s or your 80s, you will benefit in the same way.”

On the other hand, some of the researchers involved were concerned that those who worked out too much or were possibly pushing themselves too hard in the gym might be at a higher risk of death, but the study proved that wasn’t the case at all.

In fact, when comparing participants with a more sedentary lifestyle, for example those who worked at a desk all day and didn’t get much exercise, to those who were “ultra” active gym rats, Jaber said the risk associated with death was “500 percent higher.”

His recommendation for those tied to a more sedentary kind of lifestyle?

“You should demand a prescription from your doctor for exercise,” Jaber said.

At the end of the day, according to this study, one can never get too much exercise, but not getting enough will likely be detrimental to one’s overall health.