You know that lots of sitting is unhealthy, but what’s the maximum number of hours we should sit per day?

The absolute number of hours per day spent sitting might just very well be three hours, suggests a study on “the sitting disease.”

Sitting in excess of three hours per day is responsible for 3.8 percent of deaths by all-cause.

This is the result of a study that appears in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

And what if you averaged less than three hours a day of sitting?

The study says this would tack 0.2 years onto your life expectancy.

Behavioral surveys from 54 nations were analyzed in this study, which was led by Leandro Rezende, MSc, Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine.

The time spent siting had a big impact on all-cause mortality, responsible for 433,000 deaths. This figure is 3.8 percent of all the deaths across the 54 countries.

What’s even more alarming is that prolonged sitting seems to be an independent risk factor for early mortality, not to mention an assortment of ailments, REGARDLESS of how hard a person crushes it in a gym.

If this is difficult to understand, let’s take smoking as an example. You’ll agree that smoking causes illness and death.

Smoking is just plain bad for the body. This fact doesn’t change if a smoker decides to run five miles a day and train with weights an hour a day.

The agent of smoking is still there, and it’s still dangerous. And so it is with prolonged sitting. It’s bad…period.

How to Sit Less and Be on Your Feet More: Fitting More “Foot Time” into Your Day

See if your manager at work will permit a treadmill desk station, or at least a “sit and stand” desk.

If not, get one for home for when you’re on your computer shopping, banking, reading or watching videos.

If you work out of your home, get a treadmill desk and just start easing your way onto it.

While watching TV, do some yoga, brief bursts of jumping jacks, squat jumps or stationary lunges, karate kicks or see how long you can balance on one foot with the other leg bent to 90 degrees.

If you don’t need to be sitting, then stand. Do toe touches, windmills, jump up and down, whatever comes to mind to offset the sitting disease.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.