Sitting Over 10 Hours Daily Ups Dementia Risk, Study Finds

Sitting over 10 Hours Per Day Increases Risk of Dementia

Sitting Over 10 Hours Daily Ups Dementia Risk, Study Finds

In today’s fast-paced world, the nature of our work often requires us to spend long hours seated at our desks. However, a recent study published in JAMA has revealed startling findings about the health risks associated with prolonged sitting, leading many to claim that “sitting is the new smoking”. This research, which examined the lifestyle habits of nearly 50,000 individuals, discovered that those who sit for more than 10 hours daily face a significantly increased risk of dementia within the following seven years.

The study found that the risk of dementia rises by 8% for those who sit for extended periods, and shockingly, it escalates to a staggering 63% for those who remain seated for 12 hours each day. What’s even more alarming is that these elevated risks persist, regardless of whether individuals engage in regular exercise outside their working hours.

David Raichlen, who spearheaded the study at the University of Southern California, commented, “Our modern lifestyle has normalized long hours of sitting — be it at work, during TV viewing or while commuting. This study underscores the severe cognitive repercussions of such a lifestyle.”

While there is ample evidence linking sedentary behaviour to various metabolic disorders such as diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and even mortality, this study sheds new light on the cognitive risks. Dr Aditya N, a Clinical Psychologist from Bengaluru, explains, “In our clinical practice, we’ve observed that patients with sedentary behaviour, including cognitive inactivity, exhibit higher risks of developing dementia.”

Although a direct link between physical activity and dementia hasn’t been established yet, exercise is known to impact brain areas like the hippocampus that are crucial for memory formation. Beyond dementia, prolonged sitting has been associated with heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and premature death.

Renowned neurologist Dr Sudhir Kumar from Apollo Hospitals in Hyderabad advises that while a sedentary lifestyle involves extended sitting, those seated can still engage in mentally-stimulating activities like solving crosswords or sudoku. He emphasizes that the increased risk isn’t solely about the length of time spent sitting, but the sedentary nature itself.

So, how many hours should we sit in a day? Dr Kumar recommends reducing sitting hours to six to seven hours if possible, and avoiding sitting for more than 30 minutes at a stretch. He suggests breaking the pattern by standing or taking a short walk every 30 minutes. He also recommends standing while taking breaks for tea or coffee.

This brings us to the question of how to choose the best sit stand desk. A good standing desk or an electric height adjustable standing desk can be a great solution to break the monotony of sitting and introduce some physical activity into your workday. The best sit stand desk is one that is ergonomic, comfortable, and suits your workspace. The health benefits of an electric stand up desk are numerous, including improved posture, increased calorie burn, and reduced risk of obesity and other health issues.

Moreover, there are other ways to stay active while working at a desk job. The 20-8-2 rule suggests that every 20 minutes, you should look 20 feet away for 20 seconds to reduce eye strain, and every 30 minutes, stand for 8 minutes and move for 2 minutes. Regular movement, such as brief walks instead of sending emails and taking stretching breaks focusing on the neck, back, and limbs, can also be beneficial. Desk exercises like seated leg lifts and desk push-ups can further contribute to maintaining your health.

While post-work exercise may not fully counteract the risks of dementia, engaging in activities like dancing, jogging, or swimming can boost overall health. As Dr Kumar rightly points out, “Being active is the key.” Therefore, it’s time we reconsider our sedentary lifestyles and make a conscious effort to incorporate more movement into our daily routines.

author avatar
Guy Director
Higher Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. Ergomotion Director since 2005.

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Josh Oliver 04/02/24

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I've had an ergomotion desk for 10 years. It's still as good today as it was brand new. Over the years Guy has always responded promptly to any guidance I've needed (mostly help putting the desk back together after removalists take it apart).

Michael Cheung 18/01/24

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Great service from Guy and the team at Ergomotion! Helped with all my queries and was able to source a standing desk part for me when many others weren't able! Highly recommend!

Shao Lei 30/11/23

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Decent desk and awesome service. Highly recommend

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Awesome experience. Great value, super customer experience, ordered, assembled and picked up in 24 hours!

Dom K 06/11/23

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Skip the big name brands and buy from Guy instead, 10/10 linak parts with a very well built tabletop.

Chris Wu 06/11/23

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I purchased the edesk from Guy at Ergomotion. Guy was a pleasure to deal with and the desk arrived the next day. Guy was highly knowledgeable on the desk and provided very prompt support on the installation. I can highly recommend Ergomotion.

Albert Altit 29/09/23

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Excellent quality and superb Customer service. Guy walked us through the options and benefits of each and enabled us to easily decide on which option we wanted.

Installation was a breeze - Guy did a fantastic job !!

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Guy is very helpful on my inquiry. The desk is very good in quality and I love it very much.

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This is the second desk I have ordered to cater for my growing business. I find the quality of the products excellent and definitely an investment for the future. Great and efficient service and very helpful from the ordering process to the delivery process also. Thank so much to Guy who did a great job with following up and providing updates every step of the way.

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Brilliant product, realisable and fast delivery. Thanks guy and the team.
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