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Sitting shaves years off your life

Tuesday - 3/27/2012, 4:25am  ET

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Could you work here? Staying active during the day could add years to your life. (Courtesy of coolpicturegallery.us)

WASHINGTON - Sitting more than six hours a day on the couch or at a desk could seriously affect the health of millions of Americans.

In fact, staying off your feet for that long consistently could shave six years off your life, according to Dr. Jim Levine of the Mayo Clinic.

To ward off disease, feel energized or lose weight, some are opting to work standing up or using treadmill desks. Levine uses one himself, but says it's not necessary to stay healthy.

He says the mindset has to change so that exercise is not a chore, rather he thinks Americans should "aggressively seek it out".

Taking a walk with a co-worker or even something small enough as using the bathroom on another floor and taking the stairs can impact your daily health, Levine suggests.

Walking during meetings might even improve the productivity of your day. Studies show walk and talk meetings are 10 minutes shorter than average sit-down meetings.

WTOP's Kristi King contributed to this report. Follow Kristi and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)