It has long been established that sitting for a long time is not good for our health. Prolonged sitting has previously been linked with increased risk of health issues such as cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes; and now scientists have discovered that too much sitting might particularly be damaging for women. According to the findings of a new study, women who sit for a long time have greater chances of developing various cancers.

During the study, scientists found that women who sit for more than six hours in a day are at higher risk of suffering from ovarian cancer, blood cancer and multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer, compared to women who need to sit for less than three hours per day.

Other than showing how prolonged sitting can increase a woman’s risk of developing the above mentioned cancers, the study also revealed that extended leisure spent sitting has direct connections with increase in overall risk of cancer in women. According to the study, women who need to sit for over six hours per day would have 10% higher risk of developing cancer of any form.


This new study is part of a long-running survey referred to as the American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Survey. The study had a total of 77,000 women and 70,000 men as participants. During a period of 17 years i.e. between 1992 and 2009, 18,000 women and 12,000 men participating in the study got diagnosed with different forms of cancer. Researchers carrying out the study controlled for several factors including physical activity and BMI levels.

Although prolonged sitting didn’t appear to increase cancer risk in men significantly, obese men were found to have 11% greater risk of developing cancer due to too much sitting.

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The said study was conducted under the leadership of Alpa Patel, an epidemiologist representing the American Cancer Society. The team under Patel feels that additional studies must be carried out for confirming the findings. However, for now, this study provides us with the most up-to-date information about the long-term effects of prolonged sitting on our health.

You can read the entire study by visiting the widely read journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.