Is sitting down getting a bad rap?

Over 13 years, only 402 of the nearly 5,000 public servants developed diabetes

(CNN) – After hearing claims that sitting is the new smoking, you’re a fervent believer in that standing desk at work. Why not, in the past 15 years sitting has been linked to a host of health problems such as diabetes, but is there more to it than that?

Sitting may be getting a bad rap. A recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine took a look at nearly 5,000 public servants in the United Kingdom.

The subjects were, on average, in their mid-forties with no history of diabetes, heart or circulatory problems. Most claimed to be physically active.

Over the course of 13 years, only 402 of the nearly 5,000 workers developed diabetes. The report concluded that the fix for sedentary lifestyles may be more complicated than just eliminating as much sitting as possible.

Researchers say more attention needs to be paid to the type of sitting and the context around it. For example, higher status jobs are usually associated with sitting, but those in higher socio-economic positions are shown to have lower risks of chronic diseases.

Meanwhile heavy TV watching, which involves a lot of sitting, has been linked to issues like unemployment or poorer mental health. The study’s authors say before deciding sitting is a risk to your health, you should look at how much exercise you are getting to offset your sedentary spells.

A recent review published in the lancet found 60 to 75 minutes of physical activity a week eliminated the increased risk of death associated with sitting.