Sitting too long is bad for your mental health; Too much time in a chair also raises obesity, diabetes and heart risk

This research brings up a lot more questions than answers. What do we do with this knowledge?

More bad news for office dwellers: all that sitting at your desk all day not only may put your health at risk but is bad for your mental well-being, at least according to a new study.

In research presented last week at the British Psychological Society’s Annual Occupational Conference in Chester, England, scientists warn that the more you sit, the more risk you have for both a higher body mass index score and decreased mental well-being.

In a survey of more than 1,000 workers, nearly 70 percent surveyed did not meet recommended guidelines for exercise. The findings also revealed that the more you sit at work, the more you are likely to sit on your off hours, further raising your risks of health problems and mental strain.

According to the British Psychological Society, people spend on average five hours and 41 minutes per day sitting at their desks and eight hours sleeping at night — and researchers warn that is “too much sitting.”

Lead researcher Dr. Myanna Duncan, from Loughborough University in the UK, said the findings may be due to the fact workers “just forget” to stand up, she told the BBC last week.

“People don’t need a psychologist to tell them to get up and walk around,” she added in a press release. “But if it helps, I’d tell them to put a post-it note on their computer to remind them. Anyway go and talk to your colleagues face to face, it’s a lot more sociable and better for you than emailing them.”

The new study adds to growing scientific research suggesting that sitting can raise your risks for a host of problems, including obesity and diabetes — this is especially true if you spend time outside of work lounging in front of the television or commuting. In one study, researchers found that people who spend more than two hours per day of leisure time watching television or sitting in front of a screen face double the risk of heart disease.

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