Another Paper on the Possible Dangers of Sitting

Another paper on the possible dangers of sitting this time in the BMJ – Open Access. The researchers undertook a meta-analysis. They collated and analysed data from a number of prospective cohort studies. In other words studies where the researchers had followed up a group of people. In these studies, subjects had self-reported the amount of time they had been sitting each day. The researchers found that sitting down for less than 3 hours a day was significantly associated with increased life expectancy compared to the group who sat on average for more than 3 hours a day. The paper includes the strengths and weaknesses of the study. There is also some commentary in the media. At NHS Choices, it is pointed out that many of the possible confounders were not accounted for. In other words there may be another explanation. People might be spending more time sitting because of factors which can reduce life expectancy.

There is more work to be done in this area but there is a narrative emerging. If these findings do hold out then there will need to be an important debate in society about how to reduce sitting behaviour or at least modify sitting behaviour if sitting is indeed found to be associated with health risks. For now though it will be interesting to see how the research community responds to these findings.

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

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