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Does sitting at work increase your risk of death?

Taipei City, Taiwan — Workers who spend most of their workday in a chair have a 34% higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease and a 16% higher risk from all causes of death than workers who don’t sit, according to a new study out of Taipei Medical University.

Researchers examined a cohort study of nearly 482,000 people who participated in a health surveillance program in Taiwan between 1996 and 2017. Participants were placed in one of three categories: mostly sitting for work, alternating between sitting and not sitting, and not sitting.

Workers who mostly sat on the job had a “significantly increased” all-cause mortality when compared to mostly non-sitting colleagues and a number of subgroups, including men, women, people both over and under age 60, smokers, non-smokers, and people with chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.

Researchers said increasing physical activity and alternating between sitting and non-sitting are two ways to decrease all-cause mortality risks.

The study was published online in the JAMA Network Open.

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