For those who get the least amount of physical activity, replacing a half hour of sitting time with physical activity was associated with up to a nearly 50% reduction in mortality, according to a new study from the American Cancer Society. The study, appearing in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, suggests that replacing modest amounts of sitting time with even light physical activity may have the potential to reduce the risk of premature death among less active adults.
Regular moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease; certain cancers; and premature death. In addition, the amount of time spent sedentary-distinct from physical inactivity — is associated with a higher risk of death and disease. That may be a result, at least in part, from sedentary behavior displacing physical activity.
Most previous studies have explored the potential effect of sedentary time without considering the physical activity it displaces, leaving a gap in the understanding of the issue. To explore further, investigators led by Erika Rees-Punia, PhD, analyzed self-reported sitting time, light physical activity, and moderate/vigorous physical activity among 92,541 participants in the ACS’s Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort.