Do you have a desk-bound job? Beware, you may be at a heightened risk of developing cardiovascular diseases by 0.2 per cent and an increase in waist circumference by 2 cm, for every additional hour of sitting on top of five hours, researchers warned.
The findings showed that those who had desk jobs had a bigger waist circumference -- 97 cm compared to 94 cm in people without desk jobs. They also had approximately one body mass index (BMI) unit difference.
Further, they had a higher risk of cardiovascular disease -- 2.2 per cent compared to 1.6 per cent in people without desk jobs, over ten years.
In addition, each extra hour of sitting from five hours a day, increased the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and decreased good cholesterol (HDL).
"Longer time spent in sedentary posture is significantly associated with larger waist circumference, higher triglycerides (fat in the blood) and lower HDL cholesterol, all adding up to worse risk of heart disease," said William Tigbe from University of Warwick in Britain.
In contrast, walking more than 15,000 steps per day, which is equivalent to walking seven to eight miles, or spending seven hours per day upright, may be associated with zero risk factors, Tigbe added, in the paper published in the International Journal of Obesity.
Although the study could be used as the basis of new public health targets for sitting, lying, standing and stepping to avoid metabolic risks, it would be very challenging to achieve unless incorporated into people's occupations.
"Our evolution, to become the human species, did not equip us well to spending all day sitting down. We probably adapted to be healthiest spending seven to eight hours every day on our feet, as hunters or gatherers," said Mike Lean Professor at the University of Glasgow.