• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Sedentary lifestyles: Middle-aged workers now more at risk than pensioners

Sedentary lifestyles

Most middle-aged office workers now spend as much time sitting down as older pensioners, says a new study by researchers at the University of Edinburgh, .UK/US

The study found that 45 to 54-year-old men spend on average 7.8 hours per weekday sitting down, compared with 7.4 hours for the over-75s. Sedentary work is the main reason for this inactivity.

Only the youngest group of men surveyed – 16 to 24-year-olds – are significantly less sedentary than the over 75s on weekdays.

Sedentary time is defined as time spent in any waking activity done while sitting, including working, eating, watching TV or time on a computer.

Experts say that high levels of sedentary time – more than seven hours a day – increase the risk of an early death, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers, even if people are physically active at other times of the day

Nigeria with a large and increasing number of middle-aged office workers has an increased risk from sedentary lifestyle.

The researchers said the figures highlighted the potential health risks of excessive sitting at work.

Experts say that high levels of sedentary time – more than seven hours a day – increase the risk of an early death, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers, even if people are physically active at other times of the day.

Lanre Yusuf a medical practitioner based in Lagos said with the population of Nigeria, sedentary life style in the work place is very dangerous to health.

“Many middle-aged workers are affected with high levels of sedentary time, working on a lap top for more than eight hours, given much time in sitting is not healthy and it attributes to the increase in heart disease.

“Ninety per cent of countries worldwide have recorded increases in lifespan but are likely to develop cardiovascular diseases.

“This leads to risk factors such as hypertension, obesity, mental stress and hypertension which affect a billion people worldwide,” he said.

WHO urged people to “get up and get active”, saying that insufficient exercise contributes to cancer, diabetes, depression and other non-communicable diseases.

The UN health agency, in a new document, expressed concerns that “less and less people are active in many countries, with nearly a quarter of all adults and more than 80 per cent of adolescents being too sedentary”.

WHO’s Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2020 recommends that inactive people start with “small amounts of physical activity” and then gradually increase duration, frequency and intensity over time.