Better get off your couches, ladies, as Science Daily reports that the longer you stay seated, the more prone you are to an early demise.

Rebecca Seguin from Cornell University and her team looked into the lifestyle of women between the ages 50 and 79. Taking into account physical function, chronic disease status, and overall fitness, they found that being sedentary, which involves sitting or lying down for long periods with the exception of sleeping at night, increased the risk of premature death in women.

Those who had more than 11 sedentary hours in a day increased their risk of all-cause death by 12 percent as compared with those who had only four sedentary hours. They also increased their mortality risk due to cardiovascular disease by 13 percent, coronary heart disease by 27 percent, and cancer by 21 percent.

According to Seguin, being sedentary for long periods makes it harder for the body to become active again, especially for women 35 years old and above who are slowly losing muscle mass. “In general, a use it or lose it philosophy applies,” she says.

“If you're in an office, get up and move around frequently,” Seguin advices. “If you're retired and have more idle time, find ways to move around inside and outside the house. Get up between TV programs, take breaks in computer and reading time and be conscious of interrupting prolonged sedentary time.”

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(Photo by Ruthanne Reid via Flickr Creative Commons)

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