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Research shows sitting could be as harmful as smoking

Studies have found sitting for 8 hours a day without physical activity can have the same harmful effects as smoking cigarettes.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — It's no secret Americans live in a sedentary society. Whether that's sitting at your desk for eight hours a day or binge-watching movies on the couch. Research shows people who sit for more than 8 hours a day without any physical activity have a risk of dying comparable to smoking cigarettes.

ABC10 Health Expert Dr. Tom Hopkins said the more you sit the higher your risk for cardiovascular disease leading to high blood pressure and stroke. He said obesity is the key driver.

"You look at the number one and number two cause of preventable death in our society, it's tobacco and obesity. We know that now fewer people, especially in California, are smoking less, when they've quit smoking, they've gained weight," Hopkins said. "The obesity rate is going up and it's overtaking tobacco as the number one cause of preventable death."

The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise every week. That's thirty minutes a day broken up however you want to. Hopkins said it's best to develop a plan and get moving.

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