Intended for healthcare professionals

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Research News

Prolonged sitting increases risk of serious illness and death regardless of exercise, study finds

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 20 January 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h306

Rapid Response:

We all know that prolonged sitting is the cause of several diseases, especially metabolic diseases (obesity, diabetes), and cardiovascular diseases. Being sedentary, together with other bad activities such as eating junk food, drinking alcohol, smoking, causes more severe health problems and with poor prognoses.

Sedentary behavior is strongly associated with lifestyle, employment status, and occupation. In healthy people with unhealthy behaviors we can implement education programs to promote and change their behaviors. However, there was evidence showing that sedentary behavior is associated with disability status (Hubbard & Motl, 2014), with elderly people (Harvey, Chastin, & Skelton, 2014) who need support for activities of daily living, and even with people with mental disorder.

In this case, we need multidisciplinary involvement to solve the problems--for example, collaboration among healthcare providers, family members, and community health workers--to improve their health literacy. A health literate environment should be created in healthcare and other systems.


Harvey, J. A., Chastin, S. F., & Skelton, D. (2014). How Sedentary are Older People? A Systematic Review of the Amount of Sedentary Behavior. Journal of aging and physical activity.

Hubbard, E. A., & Motl, R. W. (2014). Sedentary behavior is associated with disability status and walking performance, but not cognitive function, in multiple sclerosis. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 1-4. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2014-0271

Competing interests: No competing interests

27 January 2015
Van Tuyen Duong
Scientific Researcher
Taipei Medical University
No 250, Wuxing Street, Taipei City, Taiwan, 110