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Standing up and moving every half hour could extend your life, according to a study published by the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The findings, which examined the effects of prolonged sitting on middle-age to older adults wearing accelerometers to track their movements, correspond with well-known research that those who sit continuously are likelier to develop diabetes, contract heart disease, or suffer from obesity.
“The men and women who sat for the most hours every day, according to their accelerometer data, had the highest risk for early death, especially if this sitting often continued for longer than 30 minutes at a stretch,” The New York Times reported of the study. “The risk was unaffected by age, race, gender or body mass.
“It also was barely lowered if people exercised regularly.”
The research corresponds with another study published earlier this year in The Journals of Gerontology that sedentary behavior, low physical activity, and continuous television watching among seniors increases the risk that they will have a future walking disability.
Medical News Today reported that, according to that study, “participants who watched TV for 5 or more hours every day were 65 percent more likely to have a walking disability 10 years down the line, compared with their counterparts who watched TV for less than 2 hours every day.”
“Past studies have associated physical activity among older adults with reduced cognitive decline,” the media outlet stated in a similar article. “In 2012, research from the University of Scotland in the UK found that seniors who had high levels of physical activity had fewer problems with memory and thinking skills, while a 2013 study claimed exercise is beneficial for the cognitive functioning of dementia patients.”
According to health professionals, staying physically active while young helps prevent these kinds of problems.