Sedentary Behavior Associated with Higher Risk of Death

Rebecca Seguin, PhD, CSCS Cornell University, Division of Nutritional Sciences Ithaca NY 14853 Interview with:
Rebecca Seguin, PhD, CSCS
Cornell University, Division of Nutritional Sciences
Ithaca NY 14853 What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: The main findings of the study are that regardless of demographic factors and physical activity levels, women who spent the most time engaged in sedentary behaviors had higher risk of death and women who spent the least amount of time engaged in sedentary behaviors. Were any of the findings unexpected?

Answer: We didn’t necessarily expect to see an elevated risk for cancer death among these women but in fact we did. That was very interesting. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Answer: What clinicians and patients should most take away from the study is that it is really important that regardless of how much you exercise in a formal way, it is also very important to reduce time spent just sitting and being sedentary. For example, even if you have a sedentary job you can still get up throughout the day and move. Make an effort to get up and move for five minutes every hour. Or, use the bathroom on another floor and take the stairs to get there. During conference calls, stand up and march in place or do squats or lunges or lift weights; anything to be more active during the day if you have a sedentary job.

If someone is retired they also should make an effort to not sit for prolonged periods of time. There are lots of ways to do this. For example , if watching television or reading, get up during commercial breaks or at regular intervals. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Answer: We need research with diverse populations that use objective measures of physical activity and sedentary time to best understand risks and benefits across age groups and gender, and that account for things such as physical function, occupation, and other factors related to health status.


Sedentary Behavior and Mortality in Older Women The Women ‘s Health Initiative
Rebecca Seguin, David M. Buchner, Jingmin Liu, Matthew Allison, Todd Manini, Ching-Yun Wang, JoAnn E. Manson, Catherine R. Messina, Mahesh J. Patel, Larry Moreland, Marcia L. Stefanick, Andrea Z. LaCroix
American Journal of Preventive Medicine – February 2014 (Vol. 46, Issue 2, Pages 122-135, DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2013.10.021)