Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh, The Loh Down on Science is a fun way to get your daily dose of science plus a dash of humor in less than two minutes.
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Sitting or Smoking

Werner Blaser

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Tell click-bait medical headlines to take a seat!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

We all know that sitting all day isn’t ideal.  According to recent headlines, “sitting is the new smoking!” 

At Athabasca University, Jeff Vallance studies human health and behavior.  He wondered: Could sitting REALLY be as bad as smoking? 

Vallance and fellow researchers pored through health risk studies for answers.  

Together, they compared health risk ratios for sitting, and then for smoking.  The higher this risk, the more likely cancer, heart disease, and other ailments. 

So, did the evidence confirm that sitting IS the new smoking?  

Actually, no!

Sitting longer than eight  hours resulted in a one point two ratio.  The risk ratio for smoking?  Two point eight for moderate, and about four point two for heavy smokers!

What do these ratios mean?  Heavy smoking kills TEN TIMES more people than extended sitting!  The researchers hope this news puts the risks in perspective. 

So hey, the right diet and exercise are best.  But if you just kicked the habit, it might be okay to kick back and rest… with a brownie!