Latest News » Study reveals link between sedentary habits and disability after 60

Sitting for too long may increase the risk of disability.

Staying active is an important part of maintaining long-term health, particularly as we age. Regular aerobic exercise has been shown to provide brain support by warding off cognitive decline, and may also reduce the risk of suffering a fall. That's not to mention the benefits of exercise for attaining a healthy body weight and boosting heart health.

As researchers come to learn more about the perils of a primarily sedentary lifestyle, the importance of physical activity has become even more pronounced. Now, though, researchers are arguing that even regular exercise may not be enough to undo the damage of sitting for hours on end – especially if you are over the age of 60.

According to a press release from Northwestern University, scientists have found that sedentary behavior can potentially increase the risk of disability for the 60-plus set, even if these individuals engage in regular exercise as well. Among 65-year-old women who spent 12 to 13 hours per day sedentary, the difference in this risk surged by 50 percent.

"This is the first time we've shown sedentary behavior was related to increased disability regardless of the amount of moderate exercise. Being sedentary is not just a synonym for inadequate physical activity," explained professor and lead author Dorothy Dunlop.

With this in mind, Dunlop advised the general public to make a habit of picking active options over sedentary ones, such as walking to the store instead of driving or standing up while working to taking a call. Further research is necessary to confirm this link, but there is certainly no harm it getting a bit more active if you are able.