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Live longer by sitting less

Tuesday - 7/10/2012, 7:51am  ET

Kristi King, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - There's more evidence that sitting less could lead to a longer life.

People can add two years to their lives by sitting less than three hours a day, according to a study published in the medical journal, BMJ Open.

It's based on five other studies that followed nearly 167,000 people, some for as long as 14 years.

The study also has a message for couch potatoes. It finds people who watch less than two hours a day of TV extend their life expectancies by 1.38 years.

Other studies show that people who work a decade or more in sedentary jobs are twice as likely to get colon cancer, compared to those who have never worked sedentary jobs, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Earlier this year the American Cancer Society released a study saying sitting more than six hours a day can shave years off a person's life.

In that study, researchers followed 123,216 people over 14 years and focused on the numbers of people who died. They found that women who sat for more than six hours a day were about 40 percent more likely to die during the time frame of the study than those who sat fewer than three hours a day. Men who sat excessively increased the likelihood of dying by about 20 percent.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)