Sitting Can Be Deadly

The average adult spends more than 90% of their waking hours sitting down,  yet recent research shows that sitting for prolonged periods of time can quite literally, be deadly.

The Sax Institute’s 45 and Up study, a study of the health and lifestyle of 200, 000 people, showed that adults who sat 11 or more hours per day had a 40% increased risk of dying in the next three years compared with those who sat for fewer than four hours a day. This was after taking into account their physical activity, weight and health status.

The research also found that bouts of more strenuous physical activity are still important. Inactive people who sat for prolonged periods were at greater risk than active people who sat for prolonged periods. Getting up and moving about every 20 minutes or so is the key, regardless of whether you are generally active or inactive.

Baker IDI has also conducted similar research, and has these suggestions for reducing sitting time:


Top Tips for Breaking up Sitting time:

  • there are no rules against standing during meetings – try it
  • take a brisk walk during your lunch break
  • conduct meetings while walking outdoors – these can be very effective for one-on-ones with colleagues
  • stand at a high bench top to eat your lunch
  • stand up and move around while answering the telephone
  • at the very least get up and move once every hour
  • consider a height adjustable desk that permits working in both a sitting or standing posture
  • limit your TV viewing to two hours a day
  • use commercial breaks for household chores


Use the comments box below to share your tips for sitting less.



The ABC’s Catalyst program ran a story on the effect of sitting for a prolonged period on August 16th 2012. See the transcript and video.


Have a look at this three minute clip from Baker IDI for more explanation.

Watch the Video

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