Does being sedentary increase the risk of gallstones?

Classic risk factors for gallstones are being female, over 40, and over-weight. According to the researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, spending more than 40 hours a week sitting at work may be another.

More than 60,000 women who had participated in the Nurses’ Health Study since 1986, were following up until 1996. In those 10 years, 3,257 had surgery to remove a gallstone. Those who engaged in just about any exercise for two to three hours a week, reduced their risk of gallstone surgery by 20% when compared to sedentary women.

In addition, researchers stated that women who spent more than 60 hours a week sitting had more than twice the risk of developing gallstones than those who spent no more than 40 hours sitting at work.

Source: New Eng. J. Med. 341: 777,836, 1999.

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