Can spending less time sitting down add years to your life?


Limiting the time we spend sitting to just three hours a day could add an extra two years to our life expectancy, scientists calculate.

Similarly, if we cut daily TV viewing down to two hours we could add on 1.4 years, they say in a report for the online journal BMJ Open.

But experts say the US estimates, which are based on five separate population studies, are too unreliable to predict personal risk.

Plus the targets are unfeasible.

Prof David Spiegelhalter, an expert in risk calculations at the University of Cambridge, said: "This is a study of populations, and does not tell you personally what the effect of getting off the sofa might be.

"It seems plausible that if future generations moved around a bit more, then they might live longer on average.

"But very few of us currently spend less than three hours sitting each day, and so this seems a very optimistic target."


It's hard to know what period of time they class as a day?  12 hours, 16 hours?

As the Professor says, less than 3 hours is rather optimistic unless you have a very adtive job where you are on your feet all day AND then do exercise on top!

I have been trying to work out an average for me and it's not easy as I have one job where I'm on my feet moving constantly and then this sitting down one, the hours of which vary most weeks.

I exercise 4/7 days and walk the dog twice a day every day, but then I do like a nice telly slob especailly on a Sunday!

What about  you, how long do you think you spend on your butt?  I imagine it's easier to guage if you work full time at a desk job.

ursh x

I dread to think actually! I work (now) at a laptop all day. Then my evening "social life" is mainly conducted online.

Housework keeps me moving and there seems to be a never ending supply of it - must thank the kids for keeping me alive longer (no doubt so that one day I can run around after my grandkids!!)

Today I had to talk to and from school as the car was in the garage. It was 35 mins there and 45 mins back. Don't think I'll do it every day, but I had said to the kids that we should do it once a week :-)

We walk to and from school every day which is an hour, plus Bad Dog insists on prancing across fields all evening, and we're out at least 3 nights aweek on bikes now Olly can ride his new bike (and for my birthday DH bought me a bike with a seat on the back for George, who sits behind me tugging on the back of my pants, giving me wedgies as we're sailing down the road at 20mph), and I don't have a desk job so I probably only spend a couple of hours on the sofa every 24 hours. As for tv we don't watch too much during the week, so I suppose our chances of surviving to old age are ok. 

 Lol Jacqui!

Well so far today I've spent 1 hour on my backside so I don't think that's bad going, will update later!

Let's see - a typical day is:
drive to work - 45 minutes
sit at my desk - 7 hours
drive home - 45 minutes
during evening, computer/book etc - 3 hours

hmm - definitely not healthy, but not much I can do about large chunks of it!

I'm amazed that I have lived as long as I have!