HealthDay News — According to a research study published in The Lancet, as little as 1 hour of physical activity a day may reverse the increased mortality risk associated with sitting 8 hours or more on a daily basis.

In a review of 16 previously published studies that included more than 1 million people, the researchers divided the participants into 4 groups: those who got about 5 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a day; 25 to 35 minutes a day; 50 to 65 minutes day; and 60 to 75 minutes a day.

The increased mortality risk ranged from 12 to 59%, depending on how much exercise the participants got, the findings showed. “Indeed, those belonging to the most active group, and who are active about 60 to 75 minutes per day, seem to have no increased risk of mortality, even if they sit for more than 8 hours a day,” lead researcher Ulf Ekelund, PhD, of the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences in Oslo, told HealthDay.

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The team also found that watching television for 3 hours or more a day was linked with an increased mortality risk, regardless of physical activity — except among those who were the most physically active. 

However, even among those who exercised the most, the mortality risk was significantly increased if they watched 5 hours of television a day or more, the researchers added.


Ekelund, Ulf et al. “Does Physical Activity Attenuate, Or Even Eliminate, The Detrimental Association Of Sitting Time With Mortality? A Harmonised Meta-Analysis Of Data From More Than 1 Million Men And Women”. The Lancet. 2016 July 27. doi: S0140-6736(16)30370-1. [Epub ahead of print]

Das, Pamela and Richard Horton. “Physical Activity—Time To Take It Seriously And Regularly”. The Lancet. 2016 July 27. doi: [Epub ahead of print]

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