Being active won’t always protect you…

So you’re active. You meet the physical activity guidelines, you enjoy the outdoors but….you sit all day long at work.

Using a sample of 17,000 Canadians Peter Katzmarzyk and colleagues looked at the association between sitting time in both active and inactive individuals. Click here for the image (seriously, check out the link). The y-axis provides the number of deaths per 10,000 person years. The numbers on the top of each bar indicate the relative risk of death. Thus, an active individual who sits ‘almost all of the time’ has a 40% increased risk of death relative to their active counterpart who sits ‘almost none of the time’.

So what can you do? Show your boss, supervisor, friends, and loved-ones. Tell anyone who will listen how costly sitting can be. Being active won’t protect you from the deleterious consequences of sitting and I don’t think we as Canadians have a keen understanding of this rather frightening association. It will seriously shorten your life.


Katzmarzyk et al. 2004. Sitting time and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Med Sci Sports Exerc; 41(5):998-1005.


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