Americans Are Spending More Time Sitting Than Before

Prolonged sitting and an overall sedentary lifestyle are not only bad for health, they can also up the risk of death. The habit of sitting for long hours is especially dangerous for people who are obese or at the risk of becoming so. Unfortunately, Americans are spending more time sitting now than ever before as per a new study.

What Did This Study Find? A Look At The Numbers

A new study which has been conducted by Yin Cao, an assistant professor at the Washington University School of Medicine and an international team of his colleagues has found that Americans are sitting more than they did so before. Keeping in view how dangerous a sedentary lifestyle can be for health, this is an alarming issue.

This research has been published in the JAMA journal and says that while studies have looked into the effects of too much sitting, they have not focused on by how much our sitting patterns have altered over time. The researchers involved in this study looked at the data collected by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2001 to 2016. This survey asked a representative sample pool of Americans aged five years and above how many hours they spent on their computers apart from in school or on work.

Responses from 52,000 people were collected and the trends in the amount of time people spent from 2007 to 2016 sitting were also analyzed. It was found:

  • Both teens and adults spent an additional hour sitting in 2016 than in 2007
  • Most people sat for increased times in front of the TV screen. In comparison to 2007, in 2016, 62% of children, 65% of adults, and 59% of teens spent 2 or more hours glued to the TV or to watching videos
  • An increase in the amount of time spent using computers when not at school or work was also seen in 2016 compared to 2003. Among children, screen time increase was found to be from 43% to 56%. Among adolescents, it was found to be from 53% to 57% and among adults, it was found to be 29% to 50%

About the findings, Cao said “Many studies show that TV or video watching time is most strongly associated with chronic disease and increases risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, Type 2 diabetes and overall mortality.” It’s clear that this increase in a sedentary lifestyle has occurred because of social media usage, Netflix, and other such entertainment options. This stresses on the need to spread more awareness about the negative effects of sitting.

Key Takeaway

Spending hours on end with your bottom plastered onto a couch whether for work of for binging on your favorite show does no good for you. Research has been clear on the many adverse impacts that a sedentary lifestyle has on health. Now a new study shows that the number of hours spent sitting have increased among Americans which is worrisome. In this regard, spreading public awareness with regards to the effects of prolonged sitting is essential.