You’re right! Sitting for long periods of time is linked with higher cancer risk.

In an American Cancer Society study, women who spent 6 hours or more a day sitting outside of work had a 10% greater risk for invasive breast cancer compared with women who sat less than 3 hours a day, and an increased risk for other cancer types as well.

Previous studies have found links between sitting time and dying younger for both men and women. Alpa Patel, PhD, co-author of the study and also American Cancer Society strategic director, Cancer Prevention Study-3, says sitting is linked to dying younger even for people who get a lot of physical activity.

The American Cancer Society recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity each week (or a combination of these), preferably spread throughout the week, and limit time spent sitting when possible.

How to limit your time spent sitting

•  Stand up while folding laundry or watching TV
•  Walk up the escalator or stairs instead of taking the elevator
•  Look into getting an adjustable sit/stand desk at work
•  Take short breaks during work to walk around your office building
•  Park farther away from where you're going, so you walk more
•  Stand up and walk around your workspace during a conference call

Get more information on the American Cancer Society's guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity.