HALO Director Dr. Mark Tremblay has been quoted in a number of news stories that are covering a recently published study, “Sedentary Time and Its Association With Risk for Disease Incidence, Mortality, and Hospitalization in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis,” which shows that “sitting on one’s butt for a major part of the day may be deadly in the long run — even with a regimen of daily exercise“.

From CTV News:

In an analysis that pooled data from 41 international studies, Toronto researchers found the amount of time a person sits during the day is associated with a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and death, regardless of regular exercise.

Dr. Mark Tremblay, director of Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, said the findings are consistent with a growing understanding that sedentary behaviour is a separate and distinct risk factor for major chronic diseases like heart disease and premature death.

But the relationship with physical activity needs to be figured out with further research, said Tremblay, who was not involved in this study.

“What is it in the interaction between those two, and perhaps other things like sleep? Increasingly, we’re understanding that the influence on our health is going to be dictated by the combination of behaviours,” he said.

“So if you’re someone who gets up and goes for your 30-minute jog religiously each day and then sits at your computer, the impact that that’s going to have on any particular health measure — mental health, physical health, bone density, blood pressure, whatever — may be different if you sit less. But it also may be different if you had a good night’s sleep the night before, or if you didn’t.

“So the total spectrum of movement within the 24-hour period is critical.”

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