A New Study Finds More Health Problems From Sitting Too Much

On top of physical health issues, a sedentary lifestyle may also cause mental health issues

flickr/Michael Coghlan

Sitting is the new smoking. We’ve discussed it in depth before. Sitting for an extended period of time has been proven to have many negative effects on your physical health. Unfortunately, it’s a hard habit to break, especially for employees at office jobs.

It needs to be fixed, though. Since sedentary lifestyles have found to create higher risks of cancer, heart disease, obesity and more physical health issues. And if that doesn’t convince you, a recent study has found that sitting for too long may also harm people’s mental health. Sitting for more than 6 hours a day has been linked with a higher risk of mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

The study, led by scientist Michelle Kilpatrick at the University of Tasmania collected data from 3,367 government employees as a part of a broader health outreach program. They each filled out a psychological assessment for 4 weeks. Along with assessing symptoms for anxiety and depression, the study asked participants to complete scales assessing their levels of physical activity.

Related: WATCH: Is This the Answer to Moving More at Work?

Researchers found that there was a significant relationship between mental health and sitting. Those who reported sitting for more than 6 hours a day were found to have more symptoms of anxiety and depression than those who sat for less than 3 hours a day.

The study also found that those who worked out after work were not protected from the adverse effects of sitting. Even when they were physically active in their off hours, those who sat most of the day still showed higher rates of anxiety and depression than those who worked less than 3 hours a day.

The sedentary lifestyle office jobs create is detrimental to our mental and physical health. It’s about time we start switching over to standing desks, treadmill desks or other ways of staying active during office hours. Our well-being is at stake.


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