Desk potatoes face health risk

May 13 2008 by Brian Amble Print This Article

If you spend eight hour a day or more chained to your desk, beware. Because a study by researchers in the UK and New Zealand has found that people who sit at their desks for more than three hours at a time without stretching double their risk of developing potentially-fatal deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

questioned 200 patients who were admitted to hospital for either blood clots or heart problems and compared how long each group had remained sitting, both in total and in one period without getting up.

Prof Richard Beasley, from Wellington Hospital, New Zealand, told the Daily Telegraph that the risk of developing blood clots through prolonged seated immobility was largely unrecognised. But the study suggested that it is at least as important a factor as long-distance air travel.

"It is similar to the situation with the risk of blood clots with long-distance air travel Ė it was not until there was research into its role that the real extent of the problem was appreciated.

"Both the maximum time seated at work during a 24-hour period and the maximum time seated without getting up were associated with an increased risk of VTE."

He added that anyone who sits at their computer for most of the day should do the same leg and foot exercises, such as flexing the ankles, that are recommended during long-haul flights. They should also take regular breaks away from their desk to walk around.