If you are like most people you spend most of the day either sitting at an office desk, sitting in traffic or watching television on the couch for hours at a time.

If it ever crossed your mind that these sedentary activities might not be good for your overall health, then you are right.

Numerous research studies show that sitting for long periods of time can actually reduce your overall life span. An Australian research study followed more than 200,000 adults age 45 and older for three years. Those who sat 11 or more hours per day were 40% more likely to die than people who sat fewer than 4 hours a day.

What the study found about exercise was not any better – even if the research subjects exercised after 11 hours of sitting, the risks remained the same.

Another study also found that women who spend four to seven hours a day sitting are more likely to show early signs of type 2 diabetes, but researchers have found no such link in men. The risk is still significant for women even if they engage in moderate or vigorous physical activity after a sedentary day at the office, according to the study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

So, how do you protect your health?

The World Health Organization has recommended activity for everyone who sits for more than eight hours a day to be at least 150 minutes per week. It is also recommended to take short breaks throughout the day.

By exercising and getting up more throughout the day, you will also lower your risk for possible complications of diabetes such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage and other health problems.

For more information on how you can avoid health problems as well as posture and back problems, talk to your chiropractor about putting together a plan to get you moving.