Collecting data: Effects of sitting equal to effects of smoking, studies and expertise

Published: Granite Bay Gazette Vol. 18, Issue 7. Friday, April 17, 2015 (can be read here).

Category: News Gathering

Reason for publication: To give proof to the statement that the effects of sitting are equal to those of smoking, I used online statistics and a doctor for verification. Below are quoted statements from the published story alongside the publication/expert I found it through.



  • “‘Sitting is the new smoking’ is the new health-fueled, anti-sedentary behaviors slogan that has linked sitting, among other common sedentary conduct, as a major catalyst that heightens health risks such as cancers, obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and increased risk of death. The American College of Cardiology has found that sitting can be just as detrimental as smoking to one’s health because sitting for prolonged hours of the day increases a person’s risk for such diseases previously mentioned.”

The evidence for the heightened risk for such diseases mentioned was found through the American College of Cardiology’s website, which can be seen here.

  • “Additionally, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found sitting for long periods of time increases risk for colon, endometrial and possibly lung cancer, and a 2008 Vanderbilt study concluded Americans spend an average of 55 percent (or 7.7 hours) of their conscience day sitting, or in other sedentary positions.”

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute published this finding about increased risk for possible types of cancer through research conducted by two experts, alongside an entire department for disease control.

I found the Vanderbilt study concerning the number of hours average Americans spend sitting through this infographic published by

  • “‘High school students do spend a lot of time sitting,’ Dr. Arshia Islam a rheumatologist with UC Davis said. ‘However, whether they are at increased risk of … (having or suffering from) obesity, diabetes, or neck and shoulder pain depends on what they are doing to counteract the risks associated with prolonged sitting.’ Dr. Islam also said the factors contributing to the health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle include a decreased metabolism – resulting in a decrease of calories burned – potentially leading to obesity and diabetes, as well as poor posture which can lead to musculoskeletal problems.”

Doctor Islam provided her expertise to this story concerning the effects of sitting and the possible solutions for the health risks/damages it causes.


  • “One study from Indiana University found five minute walking breaks may reverse sitting-related consequences, however this may not be a practical solution.”

This proposed solution posed by the Indiana University was published online here.


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