How a Sedentary Lifestyle Affects Your Health

Sedentary time may increase risk of death in frail and inactive adults

(RxWiki News) For frail, inactive adults, sedentary behaviors like sitting may raise their risk of dying, according to a new study.

However, sedentary time for inactive adults who were not considered frail did not appear to increase the risk of death.

For the purposes of this study, these researchers assigned 3,141 participants a level of frailty based on how many health problems they had. The participants were all older than 50 and were tracked for several years.

"We found that in people who scored low on the frailty index, sitting time was not linked to risk of death," said lead study author Dr. Olga Theou, of Dalhousie University, in a press release. "Prolonged sitting was associated with a higher risk of death only in vulnerable or frail people who did not meet the weekly recommendation for 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity."

These researchers said even brief, low-intensity periods of physical activity, such as taking a short walk, can improve the health of frail, inactive adults.

Moderate exercise improves health in various ways and has been tied to a lower risk of death. However, you should always check with your health care provider before starting any new exercise routine.

This study was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

The Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation funded this research. One study author disclosed ties to pharmaceutical and health companies.

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Review Date: 
August 26, 2017