Researchers: Stand up and live longer - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Researchers: Stand up and live longer

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Are you sitting down? You may want to stand up to read this. Researchers now believe there's a negative relationship between sitting and life expectancy.

Research published in the British Medical Journal Open shows Americans may live longer if they stand more. Peter Katzmarzyk, Professor of Epidemiology at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, said sitting fewer hours each day may boost American life expectancy by about two years.

"Right now, if you're born in the U.S. this year, your life expectancy is 78.5 years," said Katzmarzyk, "What we're saying is, if you got everyone in the U.S. to sit less, that population-level life expectancy would be two years higher. Our life expectancy as a country would be 80 years."

The research is not based on causes, but associations. The findings do not prove that sitting more will cause you to die sooner, but rather looked at past evidence that sitting seems to have negative effects on lifestyle choices.

"We know at an individual level that sitting's bad for you, but by putting this at the level of the population and life expectancy, we understand that it is such a frequent behavior that it's just as important as obesity, it's just as important as activity, it's just as important as smoking," Katzmarzyk said.

Health experts recommend the following tips to encourage a healthier "standing" lifestyle:

  • Get up and move at work
  • Go over and talk to someone instead of e-mailing them
  • Choose active weekend activities, like going to the park, versus more sedentary activities, like going to the movies.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator

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