A sedentary lifestyle has been linked to a variety of health conditions including obesity,heart disease and even premature death.A new study published in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health suggests that older adults who sit for long hours a day are more likely to be disabled even if they exercise regularly.

The study was based on 2,286 adults aged 60 and older who wore accelerometers that measured their physical activity.More than 60 per cent of the participants spent at least nine hours a day sitting. Each additional hour spent sitting increased the odds of being disabled by 46 per cent.Sitting for long hours is its own risk factor for disability.

According to the study, if there are two 65-year-old women and one was sedentary for 12 hours a day and the second for 13 hours a day, the second one would have a 50 per cent greater risk of being disabled. Sitting for extended periods can cause muscles to burn less fat and blood circulation to become sluggish. Older adults should sit less and keep moving throughout the day even if they do moderate or vigorous exercise daily.

The study author's suggestions include standing up while talking on the phone;parking at a distance from the mall or market while shopping; walking around your home or office a bit when you get up for coffee or water;avoid taking the car for doing errands;taking stairs instead of elevators;and using a pedometer to track your activity.

Reference: THE WEEK(March 30-2014)

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