Sitting down for more than nine and a half hours a day increases the risk of dying early, a study has suggested.
Regularly doing activities of any intensity is linked with a reduced risk of premature death.
And those who are most active are up to 70% less likely to die early.
Scientists analysed data from more than 36,000 adults with an average age of 62.
The study categorised participants’ activity levels from least active to most active.
Almost 6% of participants died during an average follow-up period of 5.8 years.
There were around five times more deaths among the least active, compared with those who moved around the most.
Prof Ulf Ekelund at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences in Oslo led the study, which was published in the British Medical Journal.
A report on the study said: “Our findings provide clear scientific evidence that higher levels of total physical activity – regardless of intensity level – and lesser amounts of sedentary time are associated with lower risk for premature mortality.”
Researchers said the results provide important data for public health campaigns, suggesting the message should be “sit less, and move more and more often”.
The scientists used accelerometers – wearable devices that track the volume and intensity of activity during waking hours – to measure participants’ activity per minute.
Activity intensity was separated into light, moderate and vigorous, with the time spent at each calculated. Light intensity activity includes walking slowly or cooking.
Moderate includes brisk walking, vacuuming or mowing the lawn, while vigorous is jogging and carrying heavy loads.