Brigid M. Lynch, PhD; Neville Owen, PhD
Grant Support: Dr. Lynch is supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council (early career fellowship 586727). Dr. Owen is supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council Program (grant 569940), the National Health and Medical Research Council (senior principal research fellowship 1003960), and the Victorian Government's Operational Infrastructure Support Program.
Disclosures: None. Forms can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M14-2552.
Requests for Single Reprints: Neville Owen, PhD, Program Head, Behavioural & Generational Change, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Level 4, 99 Commercial Road, Melbourne, VIC 3004 Australia; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current Author Addresses: Dr. Lynch: Cancer Epidemiology Centre, Cancer Council Victoria, 615 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne, VIC 3004, Australia.
Dr. Owen: Program Head, Behavioural & Generational Change, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Level 4, 99 Commercial Road, Melbourne, VIC 3004 Australia.
Lynch B., Owen N.; Too Much Sitting and Chronic Disease Risk: Steps to Move the Science Forward. Ann Intern Med. 2015;162:146-147. doi: 10.7326/M14-2552
Download citation file:
Published: Ann Intern Med. 2015;162(2):146-147.
The meta-analysis by Biswas and colleagues (1) in this issue follows earlier reviews and meta-analyses (2–4) that have demonstrated the associations between too much sitting with risk for chronic disease and premature death after controlling for time spent in leisure exercise or moderate to vigorous physical activity. The implications of these findings are far-reaching. Sedentary behavior is ubiquitous. Society is engineered, physically and socially, to be sitting-centric. In our workplaces, homes, common methods of transportation, and recreational venues, we are required or encouraged to sit (5). Now, mounting evidence shows that sedentary behavior contributes to all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer death as well as the incidence of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
VA Palo Alto Health Care System and Stanford University School of Medicine
February 2, 2015
Standing time should be distinquished from sitting time
Lynch and Owen describe a potential role for accelerometers in future research exploring the health effects of sedentary behavior, but do not consider important limitations of these devices. The use of accelerometers to assess for movement may result in misclassification of time spent standing as sedentary time. However, the adverse health outcomes attributable to sedentary behavior may not be associated with standing in one place. Sit-stand work stations are available in many workplaces and have been demonstrated to reduce desk-based workers' sitting time at work.  Standing upright in front of a desk may involve limited movement, but could be a healthy alternative to sitting. Future research on the effects of sedentary time on health outcomes should make every effort to distinguish periods of immobility while sitting or recumbent from periods of standing in one place. 1. Chau JY, Daley M, Dunn S, Srinivasan A, Do A, Bauman AE, et al. The effectiveness of sit-stand workstations for changing office workers' sitting time: results from the Stand@Work randomized controlled trial pilot. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2014 Oct 8;11:127. PMID: 25291960 doi: 10.1186/s12966-014-0127-7
to gain full access to the content and tools.
Learn more about subscription options.
Register Now for a free account.
Cardiology, Endocrine and Metabolism, Hematology/Oncology, Diabetes, Coronary Risk Factors.
Results provided by:
Copyright © 2016 American College of Physicians. All Rights Reserved.
Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
Conditions of Use
This PDF is available to Subscribers Only