Sitting at work raises obesity risk for women
There's a link between sitting on the job and an increase in body mass index (BMI), especially for black women, according to a new study at Washington University in St. Louis.
It is well known that prolonged sitting raises the risk of many conditions such as high blood pressure and cancer. This study, published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease, sought to quantify the association between occupational sitting time and BMI by gender and race without taking into account physical activity outside of work.
Researchers interviewed 1,891 people from four Missouri metropolitan areas, ages 21-65 who worked in an office for 20 or more hours a week. Participants answered questions on socio-demographic background and time spent sitting at work, with researchers comparing results between men and women as well as black and white women. The study found that women who spent 31-180 minutes a day sitting were 1.53 times more likely to be obese and women who spent more than 360 minutes a day sitting were 1.70 times more likely to be obese. They did find, however, that this link differed by race and that sitting for long hours seemed to have a greater impact on black women.
Experts speculated that this kind of information may accelerate the use of standing desks in offices.