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The team does not and cannot offer clinical advice. If you have any urgent medical enquiries we urge you to contact your GP, or NHS Direct at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk or by calling 0845 4647. In an emergency call 999

Having desk job 'doubles risk' of heart attack

Sitting for long periods increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease and death, researchers suggest’ BBC News reports.

The news is based on the findings of a review which summarised the results of all the observational studies that had looked at the association between the time spent sitting or lying down whilst awake (sedentary behaviour) and the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and death due to cardiovascular disease (such as heart attack) or any cause.

The link between worsening health outcomes and time spent sitting first became apparent in the 1950s when researchers found that London bus drivers were twice as likely to have heart attacks as their bus conductor colleagues.

The researchers were concerned that, due to changes in lifestyle and employment, the health problems associated with sedentary behaviour are likely to have worsened. They cite the findings of a 2011 study showing that the average adult now spends 50-60% of their day in sedentary pursuits.

The main findings of the study were that, compared to the shortest time spent sedentary, the longest time spent sedentary was associated with a:


This study cannot show that sedentary behaviour is the direct cause of the increases in risk. Nevertheless, it certainly seems to reinforce the recommendations that adults should perform at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week.

For more on this see the NHS Choices website.

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The team does not and cannot offer clinical advice. If you have any urgent medical enquiries we urge you to contact your GP, or NHS Direct at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk or by calling 0845 4647. In an emergency call 999