Prolonged sitting and TV watching dangerous for seniors

Via Medical News Today:
New research suggests that increased sedentary behavior, combined with low physical activity and increased TV watching time, drastically raises the risk of walking disability among seniors.  The new study was led by Dr. Loretta DiPietro, chair of the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at the George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health in Washington, D.C., and the findings were published in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.  Dr. DiPietro and colleagues examined data from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study – the largest study of its kind to date, which was developed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to better understand the link between diet and health.  The NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study comprised of almost 340,000 men and over 226,000 women living in six states and two metropolitan areas in the United States.

The researchers clinically followed the participants for about 10 years, or until 2006, when the NIH-AARP study ended. By this point, almost 30 percent of the participants who were healthy at the beginning of the study developed a walking disability, described as being either “unable to walk” or walking at an “easy usual pace,” defined as less than 2 miles per hour (mph).   They found that participants who watched TV for 5 or more hours every day were 65 percent more likely to have a walking disability 10 years down the line, compared with their counterparts who watched TV for less than 2 hours every day.