Sitting at a desk all day ‘as bad for health as smoking’

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • Sitting at a desk all day 'as bad for health as smoking', warn experts

    MILLONS OF PEOPLE who sit at a desk all day only to go home and plonk themselves on the sofa all night are subjecting themselves to health risks as ‘insidious’ as smoking or over-exposure to the sun, a scientist claims.

    Sitting down for hours on end can increase your chances of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity, says professor Mark Hamilton from the University of Missouri.

    Writing in the November issue of the medical journal, Diabetes, he said: ‘The dire concern for the future may rest with growing numbers unaware of the potential insidious dangers of sitting too much.

    ‘These studies demonstrate a significant impact of inactivity on a par with smoking.

    He continued: ‘I view exposure to sitting…like an oncologist views exposure to unnecessary sunlight.’

    Another study at the International Diabetes Institute in Melbourne concluded that even two hours of exercise a day would not compensate for ‘spending 22 hours sitting on your rear end’.

    The answer? Any time there’s a chance to get moving – grab it.

    Professor David Dunstan told Australian Doctor magazine: ‘People who break up their sitting time – walking to a colleague rather than emailing him, for instance – have a lower risk of diabetes.’

    Reading now