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Loose Women: Dr Hilary discusses how to live longer

Between commuting to work and spending your downtime by the TV or with a book in your lap, you probably spend a substantial chunk of your day in a sedentary position.

If you have an office job, you are likely to sit for even longer periods.

Worryingly, research has previously linked long periods of sitting to various health problems, ranging from dementia to early death.

Fortunately, new research, what are codeine phosphate 30 mg tablets used for published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, offers some hope to couch potatoes.

The study suggests that middle aged people who sit for long periods could still slash their risk of early death by doing just 20 minutes of exercise a day.

READ MORE Sitting for long periods could hike your dementia risk, new study finds

The research team found that daily physical activity for people over 50 prolongs life, regardless of the time they spend seated.

What’s more, the results aren’t just confined to 20 minutes. The more exercise you do in a day, the lower your risk of dying will be.

Previous studies have shown that adults tend to spend around nine to 10 hours sitting down every day, which spells bad news for their health.

Now, the researchers looked at data from participants in four groups, who were fitted with activity trackers to find out whether physical activity might modify the risk posed by prolonged sitting.

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Analysing more than 11,000 people aged at least 50, the research included individual participant data collected between 2003 and 2019 from two Norwegian studies, one Swedish study and an American study.

The study participants had a minimum of four days of 10 daily hours of activity tracker records and they had been monitored for at least two years.

The research team also collected data of other potentially influential factors, ranging from smoking history to underlying health problems.

Overall, 5,943 people spent fewer than 10.5 hours sitting down every day, while 6,042 clocked up 10.5 or more sedentary hours.

The findings showed that being sedentary for more than 12 hours a day was linked to a 38 percent higher risk of dying, but physical activity could change this.

Study author Dr Edvard Sagelv said: “More than 22 daily minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity was associated with a lower risk of death.

“While a higher amount of moderate to vigorous physical activity was associated with a lower risk of death, irrespective of the amount of sedentary time, the association between sedentary time and death was largely influenced by the amount of moderate to vigorous physical activity.

“For example, an extra 10 minutes a day was associated with a 15 percent lower risk of death in those spending fewer than 10.5 sedentary hours, and a 35 percent lower risk among those spending more than 10.5 sedentary hours, every day.”

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