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Why sitting too much is bad for your health 

We all know we need to be more active but there is increasing evidence that we need to spend less time sitting down as well.

Research has suggested that remaining seated for too long is bad for your health, regardless of how much exercise you do.

Studies have linked excessive sitting with being overweight and obese, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and premature death.

Prolonged sitting is thought to slow the metabolism, which affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat.

Many adults in the UK spend more than seven hours a day sitting or lying, and this typically increases with age to ten hours or more.

This includes watching TV, using a computer, reading, doing homework, travelling by car, bus or train – behaviours referred to as sedentary – but does not include sleeping.

Experts believe there is something specific about the act of sitting or lying for too long that is bad for our health.

The Start Active, Stay Active report recommends breaking up long periods of sitting time with “shorter bouts of activity for just one to two minutes”.

The advice applies to everyone, even people who exercise regularly, because too much sitting is now recognised as an independent risk factor for ill health.