News for Nerds - Can Sitting Too Much Really Cause Cancer?

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  • Posted by: Dom Testa|
  • 6/20/2014 |
  • 10:00 am
News for Nerds - Can Sitting Too Much Really Cause Cancer?

Welcome back to News for Nerds! This week we'll talk soccer, garlic breath, and a bachelor party for the ages. But first, here are your headlines.

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One of the unintended consequences of living in such an information-rich world is that we can sometimes feel like we're getting new forms of bad news every single day. The latest example: researchers now believe that even prolonged sitting can significantly increase your cancer risk. Sitting!

A recent meta-study (encompassing four million people in 43 different studies) has shown that with each 2-hour increase in our sitting time each day, our risk of colon cancer goes up by eight percent. For instance, if Betty sits for eight hours per day and Sheila sits for 10 hours per day, Sheila is at a greater risk of getting colon cancer by eight percent. And it's a double whammy for women, because extra sitting also increases a female's risk of endometrial cancer by 10 percent.

The exact reason for this correlation is unknown, but researchers say the data is very clear. What's more, it doesn't matter how active you are the rest of the day -- even if you jogged six miles to work, sitting for 10 hours per day is very, very bad for you.

So the next time you need to double-check some figures with Stu from Accounting, skip the email and just walk to his office instead.

- story from LiveScience, photo from TPWP via Wikimedia Commons

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Well, the World Cup is here again, and most of the world has officially come down with a bad case of soccer fever.

And while I won't be taking any sick days to watch that vaunted Japan-Colombia match next week, I read an interesting article this week from The Atlantic, which explains why in soccer, contrary to most team sports, being short can actually be an advantage. At least for some players.

Midfielders and forwards, for example, benefit from being closer to the ground and having a "quicker stepping pattern." That low center of gravity lends itself to quicker changes of direction and better control over their limbs. It's also possible that being, um, vertically-challenged also breeds a certain underdog mentality, which forces the mighty mites to work that much harder.

If you need more evidence, consider that many of the greatest goal scorers in the world are well below average height. Maradona? Five-foot-five. Messi? Five-foot-seven. Pele? Five-foot-eight.

However, if you are an aspiring soccer star who stands above six feet, don't worry. You can always be a goalie.

- story from The Atlantic, photo from Werner100359 via Wikimedia Commons

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Here are a few other cool science stories you might enjoy:

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That's all for now! I'll be back with more News for Nerds next week, but be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter, and to sign up for the free e-Newsletter so that you can properly get your nerd on every single month! And please send any juicy News for Nerds tips to me right here!

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