SITTING TIME AND MORTALITY FROM ALL CAUSES, CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE, AND CANCER
Researchers in the 2009, Volume 41, Number 5 issue of Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise® prospectively followed a group of 17,013 Canadians for an average of 12 yr to determine the relationship between sitting time in main activities and mortality rates from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Of particular importance to the sports medicine community is that they also examined the risk associated with excessive sitting in those individuals who meet the physical activity recommendations yet sit for the majority of the day. The results of the study suggest that greater daily time spent sitting in major activities such as work, school, and housework is associated with elevated risks of mortality from all causes and cardiovascular disease. These results remain significant even after adjustment for potential cofounders, including age, sex, smoking status, alcohol consumption, and leisure-time physical activity levels. Additionally, even those individuals who qualified as physically active were found to have a strong association between sitting and risk of mortality. The findings suggest that high amounts of sitting cannot be compensated for with physical activity even in amounts that exceed current physical activity recommendations. The highest mortality rates were in the obese individuals who spent most of their time sitting. For the majority of the analysis, those in the highest sitting time category had a significantly higher risk of mortality compared with the reference group. Bottom line: This study has profound public health implications in that not only do we need to counsel patients to increase levels of physical activity, but we also need to discourage excessive sitting. Additionally, further research is needed to define the biological consequences of sitting.
SOCIAL UNDERMINING OF HEALTHY EATING AND EXERCISE BEHAVIORS
In the 2009, Volume 13, Number 3 issue of ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal®, the authors conducted a pilot study to determine whether those who exercise or regularly make healthy eating choices believe that others with whom they interact engage in attempts to undermine these behaviors. In a random sample of 1109 individuals, respondents were queried on their perception of whether undermining exists as well as their typical response to such undermining. Of the respondents who indicated that they were regular exercisers (50.9%), 26.9% reported experiencing exercise undermining, with the highest rate being in those who had been exercising for 5 yr or more (27.6%). The potential for much higher undermining exists with food, however, this study found an eating undermining rate of 28.8%, with 55.3% of those who experienced exercise undermining also experiencing eating undermining. The perceived strength of both exercise and eating undermining correlated with strength of relationship/connectedness. The most common offenders in undermining exercise were friends, significant others, and family members, while the order was family, significant others, and then friends as it relates to eating undermining. Responses to these perceived pressures demonstrated that the attempts to undermine were not particularly effective in causing behavioral change, as most chose to ignore the undermining (63.8% for exercise and 39.8% for eating). Succumbing to the pressures of undermining occurred at a rate of 10.5% for exercise and 30.4% for eating. In an attempt to determine the impact of undermining, the authors compared body mass index (BMI) values in the sample. The findings demonstrated no significant difference in BMI between exercisers/eaters who reported undermining versus those who did not report undermining. Of note, those who reported eating undermining represented the group with the highest BMI. Bottom line: This study offers an interesting perspective upon the effects that others play in a person's attempt to live a healthy lifestyle. Health care providers need to be cognizant of this impact and offer solutions to combat this obstacle.