Sitting Down Too Long May Cause Cancer, Study Suggests

If you don’t get off your chair often enough, you might just die there, a new study finds.

Researchers presented “sitting disease” at the American Institute of Cancer Research yesterday, claiming that sitting for too long leads to an increased risk for breast cancer and colon cancer.

The study says the correlation is proportional.

"It seems highly likely that the longer you sit, the higher your risk," Neville Owen, Ph. D., of Australia's Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, said in a news release.

As many as 173,000 cancer cases may be attributed to sitting, researchers said.

The study found that the best way to reverse the effects of prolonged sitting is to take a on to two-minute break for every hour of sitting.

Though more exercise is encouraged in general, the study warns of a false complacency that affects many working Americans.

"A person who gets up in the morning and makes time by spending 30 minutes on the treadmill probably feels pretty pleased with himself - and he should," registered dietitian Alice Bender said in a written statement issued by the institute.

"What happens during the other 15 hours and 30 minutes he spends awake? If he's like most Americans, he sits - on his commute, at the office, and at home."

Researchers said that sitting for even an hour straight has already done damage to your health.

The link between sitting and cancer risk is not related to weight, the report says, but it is related to a person’s level of exercise. Living a sedentary lifestyle not only increases cancer risk, but risks of heart disease, malnutrition and stress-related maladies.

Studies showed that those who exercised regularly held a 30 to 35 percent less chance of acquiring colon cancer. For breast cancer, exercise reduced the risk by 20 to 30 percent.

Researchers hope to paint exercise in a new light to Americans, not as something to keep the body sleek and in-shape, but as a necessary means of keeping people alive and healthy.

Proteins that may lead women to develop breast cancer are greatly reduced in quantity with exercise, research finds.

Experts advise that is a person’s schedule doesn’t allow exercise the least they should do is stand up once in a while.

The presentation offered several tips to help people get out of their chairs, stand up during phone calls, hold meetings on the go, or ask their office to install a punching bag or piece of simple exercise equipment.