You might want to stand up before you read this: Sitting could increase your risk for certain types of cancers.
People who spend the most time sitting have a higher risk for colon, endometrial, and lung cancer compared to people who sit the least, finds a large new analysis published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. After reviewing 43 studies involving nearly 4 million individuals and 70,000 cancer cases, researchers found that each 2-hour increase in sitting time is associated with a 10% increased risk for endometrial cancer, 8% increased risk for colon cancer, and 6% increased risk for lung cancer.
The danger held true even for regular exercisers, suggesting that a daily workout alone isn't enough to stave off disease if you spend the rest of the time seated. That's because being sedentary for long stretches causes blood sugar and insulin levels to spike. "The high insulin and high glucose pathways, both known to be related to diabetes, are also related to colon cancer, and clearly fit as a pathway for sitting and colon cancer," Graham Colditz , MD, of the Siteman Cancer Center and Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO. Other cancers, like endometrial cancer, are related to estrogen levels that rise in response to obesity in postmenopausal women.
All of which adds to the mounting evidence that spending too much time sitting on the couch, at your desk, in the car, or anywhere simply isn't a good thing. So get moving, stat. "Maintaining a healthy weight should be a top priority. Adding breaks at work or at home to move around can add to the benefits of a healthy diet, and so this simple approach shouldn't be ignored," Colditz says.