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Infographic: Physical activity, sitting time and mortality
  1. Ulf Ekelund1,2
  1. 1 Department of Sport Medicine, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway
  2. 2 Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway
  1. Correspondence to Professor Ulf Ekelund, Department of Sport Medicine, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo 0806, Norway; Ulf.Ekelund{at}

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Physical inactivity, defined as not meeting the current public health guidelines for physical activity, is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases and premature mortality. Recent estimates suggest that about 9% of all deaths annually, which corresponds to more than 5 million deaths globally, can be attributed to physical inactivity.1

Sitting time constitutes the majority of awake time in the adult population. Sedentary behaviours have been proposed to be associated with many chronic conditions independent of physical activity,2 and many national health and scientific authorities have introduced guidelines on sitting.3 4

In one of the papers published as part of The Lancet 2016 series of physical activity,5 we sought to examine how much physical …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.