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Exposure to air pollution associated with increase in sedentary time, study finds

Woman relaxing on the couch, she is using the remote control and choosing a TV show or movie on the television menu

Long-term exposure to current levels of UK air pollution has been found to be associated with an annual increase of up to 22 minutes of sedentary time each day, in a study published in the Journal of Public Health.  

Researchers based at the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) discovered this trend in what is thought to be the first study of its kind to closely examine the relationship between the levels of background pollution people are regularly exposed to in the UK environment, and their levels of physical activity and sedentary behaviour.  

Sedentary behaviour is the amount of time spent lying, reclining, sitting or standing still. Higher levels of sedentary behaviour are known to be linked to poorer health including heart disease, several types of cancer and an earlier death.