Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram With every two hours spent sitting down represents a 20 per cent higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a 15 per cent higher risk of heart disease and a 13 per cent higher risk of dying of other causes, researchers found. Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that Australians on average spend half of their daily leisure time – or up to four hours a day – in front of the television. Associate Professor David Dunstan said these findings are not surprising, and that television viewing is just “one of the many sedentary activities we do each day” and that it is prolonged sitting, not television viewing in particular that is dangerous. He encouraged people to avoid prolonged periods of sitting as the absence of muscle contractions when sitting for long periods mean not all glucose and fats are cleared from the bloodstream, thus increasing the risk of disease. Researcher Dr Anders Grontved, of the University of Southern Denmark, estimated for every two hours of sitting down an extra 176 in 100,000 individuals would develop type 2 diabetes, 38 would die from cardiovascular disease and 104 others would die. The study was published in Journal of the American Medical Association.