New Study Says Leisurely Sitting Is More Harmful For Health Than Occupational Sitting

A new research has found that not sedentary lifestyles are equal when it comes to damaging heart health. It is no secret that sitting for long hours can put one’s health at risk. It can cause obesity and a number of other ailments. This is why, it is essential to be physically active.

Some people move less because they are lazy, busy watching TV on their couch. Others get less exercise because of work obligations which require them to stay seated for longer hours. A new study has found that there’s a difference in the effects that leisurely sitting and sitting at work pose. This research has been conducted by scientists from the Vagelos College of Physicians in collaboration with surgeons from Columbia University.

Accordingly, sitting at home has a stronger negative impact on heart health than occupational sitting. This report has been published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. For it, data of 3,592 participants enrolled in the Jackson Heart Study was analyzed. All the participants were African American. However, researchers say the conclusions of the study can apply to all and sundry.

What Did The Study Find?

The lifestyle and health data of all participants was collected by the scientists. It covered their information of about 8.5 years. This info included how much time they sat at work and how much time they sat, watching television at home.

The following conclusions were drawn:

  • People who sat at home watching TV for 4 or more hours had a 50% higher risk of heart disease and premature death. This was in comparison to those who sat in front of the television for 2 hours or less
  • In contrast, those who spent more time sitting at work didn’t have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than those who spent less time sitting at work
  • Watching 4 or more hours of TV with 150 minutes of weekly exercise cuts down the increase in risk of heart health problems and early death

It is not known exactly why there is a difference between leisurely sitting and occupational sitting. Researchers think that it can be that while at office, people tend to leave their desks frequently. On the other hand, while watching television many people do not move for hours.

In this regard, author of the study Kevin Diaz says, “More research is needed, but it’s possible that just taking a short break from your TV time and going for a walk may be enough to offset the harm of leisure time sitting. Almost any type of exercise that gets you breathing harder and your heart beating faster may be beneficial.”


Spending time at home, watching TV for hours on end is unhealthier than sitting at work for a long time. However, while one’s risk is higher than the other it must not be forgotten that a sedentary lifestyle overall is unhealthy. One must incorporate physical activity in his routine. Experts recommend engaging mediocre intensity exercise for at least half an hour each day.