Even New Yorkers sitting for long unhealthy hours

New York, June 4 (IANS) The Big Apple is one of the most walkable cities in the US but New Yorkers are sitting far more than what is considered healthy, says a study.

According to researchers from the New York University Langone Medical Centre, the average New York City resident sits more than seven hours a day – greatly exceeding the three hours or more per day that is associated with decreased life expectancy.

They found that Whites spent on average 7.8 hours per day sitting, African-Americans spent 7.4 hours sitting, Hispanics spent 5.4 hours sitting, and Asian-Americans spent 7.9 hours per day sitting.

Sitting time was highest in Manhattan compared to other boroughs.

Average sitting time was highest among adults who were college educated, in higher income brackets or 65 years of age or older.

In contrast, lower-income individuals with less education, Hispanics and foreign-born New Yorkers spent the least amount of time sitting.

Sitting time is linked to death from heart disease and other causes, with life expectancy increasing by two years if adults reduced their sitting time to three hours per day.

Individuals who exercise regularly but are still sedentary for several hours a day may be at greater risk for adverse health outcomes than their physical activity levels might suggest.

“Interventions for decreasing sitting time at work and home are needed to improve health outcomes across all groups – not just those identified as having the longest sitting times,” said Stella S. Yi, assistant professor of population health at NYU Langone.

Although Yi believes that those who sit the most are probably employed in office jobs, she says it is important to recognise differences within racial and ethnic groups.

Whites and Asian-Americans have the highest sitting times but Asian-Americans tend to hold occupations at both ends of the socio-economic spectrum.

“For example, Asian-Americans hold both desk jobs and jobs in commercial settings like nail salons that offer little opportunity for reducing sitting time.”

The study was published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its journal Preventing Chronic Disease.

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