You might not want to sit down for this: We’ve seen several recent studies showing the harms to health of sitting, and the latest shows that it’s associated with disability in older people.
Researchers examined a national health survey of Americans, focusing on information about 2,286 adults aged 60 and older.
The study found that each additional hour that participants sat on a daily basis raised the risk of becoming physically disabled by about 50%, NPR reported. How much exercise they got did not seem to affect the risk.
So what’s so bad about lounging around all day?
“When a person sits for an extended period of time, your muscles burn less fat and your blood tends to flow more sluggishly,” Dorothy Dunlop, a public health and medicine researcher who led the study, told NPR. “And on top of that, when you slump in your chair, then your back and your stomach muscle goes unused.”
The scientists did not prove that sitting causes disability, however, but Dunlop said the association is strong.