Too much sitting bad for health
Too much sitting bad for health

HONG Kong people, including students, sit too much, and this is detrimental to health, according to a study. The University of Hong Kong’s Sau Po Centre on Ageing (香港大學秀圃老年研究中心) and the charity group Outstanding Givers (傑出生命計劃) polled employees, the self-employed, retirees and students.

Employees sit for the longest – 13 hours on average on a work day – in the office and at home using their mobile phones and tablets. Twenty-five percent in this group even sit for more than 17.3 hours on a work day and 15.3 hours on a rest day.

Students also sit a lot – between 12.4 and 12.6 hours on a school day.

Prolonged sitting causes health problems, with those who sit for more than 17.3 hours facing five times the risk of suffering from bodily pains than those who move about.

Their risk of developing psychological problems such as anxiety and depression also increases by 3.57 times.

By 2020, some 70 percent of the world’s diseases will spring from sitting for too long or lacking exercise, the World Health Organisation has pointed out.

Chiropractor Josiah Au Yeung (歐陽宏基) said the pressure on a person’s spine is 2.3 times greater when he sits than when he stands. People should stand up and stretch for five minutes every hour.

Those who sit a lot should be careful when engaging in vigorous exercise such as running and hiking on weekends, and should increase the intensity gradually.

(This article is published on Junior Standard on 13 January 2017)

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