Sitting too much is bad for your health, even after a happy retirement, reports a new study. Women who spend more time sitting down, lying, or reclining are at a higher risk of developing health problems such as heart diseases and type 2 diabetes.
The transition to retirement changes the way people use their time and how actively they exercise. Evaluating a person's daily sedentary time using questionnaires is difficult. Therefore, the study measured changes in the sedentary time of aging workers with the help of a motion sensor attached to the wrist.
Doctoral Candidate Kristin Suorsa discovered that the daily sedentary time increased by more than one hour in women when they made the transition from working life to retirement. The most substantial change was observed in women who retired from the service sector and physical work.
Sitting Exposes to Illnesses
Spending prolonged time sitting down, lying, or reclining causes exposure to cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. Even intensive exercise does not seem to reverse the harmful effects of extensive sedentary time.
- Based on our study, retiring persons should try to reduce their sedentary time and replace it with light exercise, for example. Attention should be paid to increasing the exercise activity of retiring men in particular, as the men in our study were sedentary for almost ten hours each day, Suorsa says.
The research results are based on a sample in which 478 municipality workers wore a wrist motion sensor for, at minimum, four days before retirement and four days after it. The motion sensor measures acceleration and allows for the accurate measuring of the total sedentary time for each day, hour by hour.