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Sitting all day is as deadly as smoking, office staff warned

Published 19/08/2015

Office workers' sedentary lifestyles have sparked health fears
Office workers' sedentary lifestyles have sparked health fears

Older people and office staff are risking their long-term health by sitting down for extended periods.

Prolonged sitting is just as bad for your health as smoking and can bring on health issues such as heart disease and cancer.

Researchers at Queen's University Belfast believe that sitting for long periods is linked to obesity, diabetes and early mortality.

They said that it poses as big a threat to public health as smoking.

Not using your legs for prolonged periods creates a build up of plaques, fats and cholesterols in arteries.

Dr Mark Tully from the UK Clinical Research Collaboration Centre of Excellence for Public Health at Queen's University Belfast said that this is very common in office workers and elderly people.

"On average, people spend more than nine hours, or up to 80pc of their waking day, sitting down," he said.

"Public health scientists have recognised the need to develop effective interventions to address the high levels of inactivity across ages, with sitting regarded as 'the new smoking'," he added.

Dr Tully said he uses an innovative treadmill desk in work everyday to boost activity.

"If we are sitting all day long, we are not using the muscles in our legs," he said.

"We still have this culture of sitting that we have to overcome," he added.

"We are not built to spend the day sitting down and really should be up and about more often."

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