New Study Says Sitting a Lot Won’t Kill You After All

Did you buy a standing desk because you heard that sitting too much would kill you? Or because you wanted to be like Don Rumsfeld? It doesn’t matter: a new study says sitting isn’t especially hazardous, and Rumsfeld shouldn’t be a role model for anything. The chart on the right shows the basic association between more sitting and more dying: none. Nor did it matter when the authors controlled for age, gender, employment grade, ethnicity, smoking status, alcohol consumption, fruit and vegetable consumption, BMI, physical functioning, or daily walking time. “There were no associations between any of the five sitting indicators at Phase 5 and all-cause mortality risk over the follow-up period in either model 1 or 2.”

The authors say that their sample is fairly physically active, and “it is therefore possible that the higher than average energy expenditure in the current study may offer a degree of protection from any deleterious effects of high volumes of sitting.” In other words, don’t worry about sitting too much. Just get enough exercise, period. You’ll be OK.