A recent Australian study has shown that the amount of time we spend sitting can impact our health, regardless of whether or not we exercise. In a study of 222,497 individuals aged 45 or over, van der Ploeg and colleagues found that individuals who spend 11 or more hours per day sitting have a 40% increase in all-cause mortality compared with individuals who spend less than four hours per day sitting. This increase in mortality was similar in individuals who got no physical activity and those who exercise 150 or more minutes per week. It appears that, in order to maximize wellness, we need to spend less time sitting in addition to getting regular aerobic physical activity.
van der Ploeg, H.P., et al. Sitting time and all-cause mortality risk in 222,497 Australian adults. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2012;172(6):494-500.