A sedentary lifestyle has long been known to be unhealthy, and a new study by the Cardiovascular Research Network shows that long periods sitting down may be more detrimental than previously thought.
Keeping active can benefit everyone from recent retirees to seniors receiving private home care. While cardiovascular fitness can help stave off heart conditions, diabetes and other health problems, simply standing or walking throughout the day may also improve the chances of longevity.
"Watching TV, using computers and electronic games can involve sitting for long periods and have become a big part of leisure time," said Tony Thirlwell, CEO of the NSW Division of the National Heart Foundation Australia, a supporter of the study. "But we know that people who spend less time on these things have better health than those who spend too much time on them."
Researchers noted a 40 percent higher risk of death within three years for participants who sat for 11 or more hours per day. The study also points out that the average adult sits for 90 percent of his or her "leisure time."
A report by the American Medical Association indicates that the cardiorespiratory fitness of adults generally weakens gradually following age 45, meaning a focus on being active is key for senior care.