Jobs Involving Long Sitting Hours May Increase Heart Risk and Waist Size

NDTV Food  |  Updated: March 03, 2017 12:22 IST

Jobs Involving Long Sitting Hours May Increase Heart Risk and Waist Size
  • Desk-bound jobs increases risk of developing heart disease
  • Sitting more than 5 hours can increase waist circumference
  • Walking more than 15,000 steps per day provides zero risk factors
The corporate life may bring us big money, but the way it's impacting our health is a serious concern. This is because the nature of most jobs requires the employees to sit at the desk for hours and hours, constantly staring into the laptop screen. As such physical activity takes a backseat, paving the way for various ailments in the years to come. It is not without reason that health experts emphasise on the importance of physical fitness for one's well-being. Even a 30-minute walk is known to work wonders to keep your heart healthy, sugar level in check, and regulate cholesterol. Obesity is becoming an epidemic in India, and that's because of the sedentary lifestyles of the people.

According to a recent study done the University of Warwick in Britain, those who have desk-bound jobs are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and becoming obese. Sitting for five hours may not impact one's health as much, but every hour after that puts the person at increased health risk. In the shocking report, the researches stated that for every additional hour of sitting on top of five hours increases heart disease risk by 0.2 per cent and an increase in waist circumference by two cm.

The findings published in the International Journal of Obesity showed that those who had desk jobs had a bigger waist circumference - 97 cm compared to 94 cm in people without desk jobs. They also had approximately one body mass index (BMI) unit difference. Further, they had a higher risk of cardiovascular disease - 2.2 per cent compared to 1.6 per cent in people without desk jobs, over ten years. In addition, each extra hour of sitting from five hours a day, increased the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and decreased good cholesterol (HDL).

(Heart Month 2017: Why a Healthy Diet Should Be Your Priority)


"Longer time spent in sedentary posture is significantly associated with larger waist circumference, higher triglycerides (fat in the blood) and lower HDL cholesterol, all adding up to worse risk of heart disease," said William Tigbe from University of Warwick in Britain.

In contrast, walking more than 15,000 steps per day, which is equivalent to walking seven to eight miles, or spending seven hours per day upright, may be associated with zero risk factors, added Tigbe.

Listen to the latest songs, only on

Although the study could be used as the basis of new public health targets for sitting, lying, standing and stepping to avoid metabolic risks, it would be very challenging to achieve unless incorporated into people's occupations.

"Our evolution, to become the human species, did not equip us well to spending all day sitting down. We probably adapted to be healthiest spending seven to eight hours every day on our feet, as hunters or gatherers," said Mike Lean Professor at the University of Glasgow.

CommentsInputs from IANS

For the latest food news, health tips and recipes, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and YouTube.