For the millions of us who sit in front of a computer all day at work, it's not good news.
New research shows spending ten years or more in a sedentary job almost doubles the risk of some types of bowel cancer. Worse still, researchers found even workers who regularly keep fit or go to the gym are still twice as likely to get a tumour. The findings, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, highlight the full dangers of modern working patterns, where large numbers of employees are desk bound for hours at a time.
The research also backs up earlier studies which showed men who sit down most of the day at their jobs are 30 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than those with very active occupations.
More than 37,500 people a year in the UK are diagnosed with bowel cancer. The disease has a high mortality rate - around 16,000 a year - because many victims ignore early warning signs and only seek medical help once the cancer has advanced. Diets high in fat and red meat, as well as lack of exercise, are thought to be among the main risk factors.
But the latest study, by a team of experts at the University of Western Australia, show long periods of physical inactivity during the day could also be a major risk - even among those who exercise lots in their free time.