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

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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.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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