Americans now spend even more time sitting, study shows
Health warnings have urged modern adults to get up and moving throughout the day, noting that long periods of sedentary behavior can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, dementia, and shorten life spans.
But according to new research from Washington University School of Medicine, Americans spend more time sitting now than in years prior.
Study leader Yin Cao, M.P.H., Sc.D. and team saw a 6 to 8 hour jump in the amount of hours adolescents and adults spent sitting between 2007 and 2016.
Compared to sitting for about an hour per day in 2007, adolescents in 2016 spent about 8.2 hours per day sitting. And adults in 2016 sat for about 6.4 hours per day.
To come to their conclusion, published in JAMA Network, Cao and her team used data from nearly 52,000 kids, adolescents, and adults collected within the U.S. between 2001 and 2016.
Between 2015 and 2016, an estimated 62% of children, 59% of adolescents, and 65% of adults sat and watched television or videos for at least two hours per day.
Furthermore, computer time among all age groups increased between the 15-year period, with the largest jump being in adults. 50% of adults spent more than an hour on the computer in 2016 compared to just 29% in 2003.
Most of the data was collected from self reporting, so the authors realize that their findings may not be completely accurate because of the potential for error. However, they note that the trends they found over the 15-year period are most likely not affected by incorrect self reporting.