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(CNN) – Sitting has been branded the “new smoking” for its supposed public health risks, especially for people with sit-down office jobs.

Over the past 15 years or so sitting has been linked with cancer, heart disease and diabetes and even depression. This has led to a surge in media stories on the risks of sitting, even for people who do a lot of exercise.

Then there’s the rise in the popularity of standing desks to encourage people to get off their chairs to improve their health.

But is sitting really that risky? And do we really need standing desks?

What does the evidence say?

In our latest study we investigated if not only the total amount of sitting, but different types of sitting, were linked with developing type 2 diabetes.

We wanted to see if there was any difference between sitting watching TV, sitting at work, or sitting at home but not watching TV.

We measured sitting behaviors of 4,811 British public servants, who were on average 44 years old and didn’t have diabetes, heart or circulatory problems at the start of the study. Over the next 13 years, 402 people developed diabetes.

Sit smarter with yoga

Once we took into account obesity, physical activity, and other factors contributing to developing type 2 diabetes, neither total sitting time, sitting at work or sitting at home but not watching TV were linked with developing diabetes.

We found only a weak association with the time spent sitting watching TV and an increased risk of developing diabetes.

This contrasts with a recent review combining the results of five older TV studies that showed a stronger link. But hardly any of the included studies accounted for obesity, a major cause of diabetes.

For people who are physically inactive, though, the story’s different. Two recent studies show the total time spent sitting a day is linked with developing diabetes, but only in people who are physically inactive or both physically inactive and obese.

That’s not the whole story. At least two factors determine if sitting is a risk factor in its own right: the type and context of sitting. 

Type and context of sitting

We’re most likely to sit at work, at play and while travelling. And a growing body of evidence suggests not all sitting is equal.

For example, sitting down at work isn’t strongly linked with long-term health risks. Perhaps that’s because higher status jobs involve more sitting, and higher socioeconomic position is linked with a lower risk of chronic disease.

It’s a different case for sitting watching TV, the type of sitting most consistently linked with long-term health risks such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and an early death.

People who watch a lot of TV tend to be of lower socioeconomic status, unemployed, have poorer mental health, eat unhealthy foods and be exposed to unhealthy food advertising.

Each of these aspects of watching TV increases the chances of poor physical and mental health. But studies cannot account for all these complex influences. In other words, TV involves a constellation of health risks that go uncounted. So TV studies only tell us that excessive TV viewing is a behavior that needs to be reduced, but tell us practically nothing about the health risks of sitting.

Physical activity and sitting

An important aspect of our study was that participants said they were physically active, reporting an average 43 minutes walking a day, plus more than two hours of other physical activity a day.

Deskbound? One hour of physical activity can improve your health

 A large recent review combining data from over one million participants found 60-75 minutes of physical activity a day eliminated the harms of sitting when it came to measuring death from cardiovascular disease or death by all causes.

One possible explanation for the weak links between sitting and diabetes we observed is that participants were protected by their high levels of physical activity.

This suggests it’s particularly important to find ways to allow office workers forced to spend many hours a day in front of a computer to add physical activity to their daily routine.

As well as individuals changing their behaviour, governments need to provide infrastructure for active commuting, like bike lanes and secure bike racks at stations, and encourage people to use public transport. Employers could provide incentives and facilities for active commuting, like providing showers at work, and promote lunchtime walks, encourage the use of stairs instead of lifts, and even walking meetings when convenient.

How about standing desks?

Adjustable desks that allow a sitting and standing option (sit-stand desks) could be a good first step, especially for very sedentary and unfit workers. But these aren’t a complete solution as people don’t expend much energy, or exert themselves, using them.

Forget 'Sit down!' Students now standing up to learn

 Even well designed studies of people using sit-stand desks found replacing sitting with standing for 40-45 minutes each work day didn’t provide any measurable health benefits

And people who use them may think they’ve done their bit and tend to be less physically active after work.

Reducing the amount of time spent sitting can be a useful option if people don’t want to walk or cannot walk, cycle or exercise.

But you would have to cut back your sitting by many hours a day to achieve the same reduced risk of dying from cancer and cardiovascular disease from doing even one or two exercise sessions a week.

 

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A marijuana dispensary delivery driver was robbed at gunpoint in Point Loma Heights by two men who got away with his stash, according to police.

Officers responded shortly before 7:30 p.m. Monday to the 3900 block of West Point Loma Boulevard, where the suspects had ordered the marijuana to be delivered, according to Officer John Buttle. No one was hurt, but the suspects got away with an unknown amount of marijuana.

The first suspect was described as a Hispanic male in his mid-20s, around 5 feet 7,  with a slender build and wearing dark clothing, according to Buttle. The second suspect was described only as a black man in his mid-20s. No clothing description was provided.

 

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A decomposed body found in San Diego Bay is proving to be difficult to identify.

The body was discovered near Glorietta Bay shortly before 5 p.m. Monday south of Coronado, according to a San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office investigator.

The body was too decomposed to determine the sex or how the person died. An autopsy was pending, the investigator said.

Details about how the body was discovered were not released.

(San Diego) Dozens of people showed up at a town hall meeting with Democratic Representative Scott Peters. Many of them are upset about controversial policies put in place by the new presidential administration.

Inside the San Diego Islamic Center, every seat was filled with concerned citizens. Most don’t like President Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration and a border wall. Some have other issues they want to talk about with Rep. Peters.

“I really want to make it clear that we need to save the Affordable Care Act,” says Kristen Ampla, “If the Affordable Care Act dies, I think San Diegans die.”

“I want to tell him that he needs to get the Republicans and Democrats together to get along, make things happen in Washington, because they’re really not,” adds Donna Smith.

The Democratic Congressman told his constituents right off the bat that he has problems with the president. He thinks there’s a connection to Russia, a border wall will be counterproductive to the San Diego economy, and the administration is disorganized.

“It seems like people thought they hired this sophisticated business man. He seems to have no clue how to organize this administration,” says Rep. Scott Peters, (D) 52nd District.

No one verbally attacked Peters while they asked him questions. The representative said this is the largest town hall he’s ever had and it’s because of Trump. People in the audience say they hope attending helps in some way because they’re all concerned about the direction of the country.

“We need to use that power because we do have a lot of power politically to make our voices heard. We have the power commercially with our wallets and we need to do that in a respectful and inclusive way,” adds Ampla.

“It’s like dating a boyfriend and he starts to do weird stuff and you go okay, this is a red flag,” says Smith.

Peters is holding another town hall meeting on March 13th. His office hasn’t released the time or location just yet, he says it will be a bigger venue.

WHITTIER (CNS) – A veteran police officer was shot and killed today and another officer was wounded by a suspected 26-year-old gang member, who had been driving a stolen car and may have been involved in a murder related to the early morning car theft before the fatal gunfire, authorities said.
Paramedics dispatched at 8:17 a.m. to Colima Road and Mar Vista took the two police officers to UCI Medical Center, according to a county fire department dispatcher.
Boyer died from his injuries at the hospital and Hazel was listed in stable condition, Corina said.

The officer who was shot and killed was Keith Wayne Boyer. Boyer joined the force in 1989 and became a full-time police officer in 1990, Whittier police Chief Jeff Piper told reporters today at a news conference outside the  Whittier police station.

The wounded officer was identified as Patrick Hazel, a three-year department veteran, Piper said.

He last was reported in stable condition. Boyer was a divorced father of grown children, a drummer who played in bands for non-profit events and a “personal friend of mine for 25 years,” Piper said.

“He was the best of the best,” Piper said. “He was humble, smiling, positive. He was a great guy and recently talked to me about retiring.”

The impact of this shooting will “last for years. But we’re gonna get through it. This makes us stronger. And everyone needs to know what these officers face on a daily basis,” Piper said as he broke down in tears.

“We have been grieving since 10 a.m. this morning,” Piper said. “I didn’t think I had any more tears left to cry but obviously I do.” Gathering himself, Piper took aim at laws which have allowed early
release of convicted criminals on parole.

“Enough is enough,” Piper said. “We keep passing laws that keep raising crime. We have to think about what we are doing to our communities and officers by putting these kinds of people back on the street.

“You have no idea how things have changed in the last four years,” Piper continued. “People don’t want to follow rules, don’t care about people.”

Piper’s concerns were echoed by Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell who spoke about the passage of new laws that put convicted criminals like today’s shooter out on the street with an early parole.

“AB 109 provides for some early releases. Prop 47 stops people from entering the system and Prop 51 accelerates their release,” McDonnell said.

“County jail has become a default state prison,” McDonnell said. “But people need to be rehabilitated before they get released on to the streets.

There also needs to be drug treatment and treatment for mental illness first. Right now, we are putting people on the streets who are not ready to be on the streets.”

Sheriff’s Lt. John Corina, who is heading up the investigation in the deadly shootout, declined to release the name of the gunman who remains hospitalized in an intensive care unit this afternoon.

“It looks like he’s gonna live,” Corina told the assembled reporters. Corina also said that witnesses have identified the shooter as the possible gunman involved in a murder early this morning involving the stolen car the gunman was driving through Whittier before he had his accident.

However, Corina did not provide any details on that homicide and car theft which he said occurred in East Los Angeles early this morning.

The shootout began shortly after the unnamed suspect had rear-ended some motorists, disabling the vehicle he was driving. He then asked people in the car he struck to help him move the disabled vehicle, according to Corina.

Police were called to the location, in the area of Colima Road and Mar Vista Street, at 8:04 a.m., according to a Whittier PD watch commander.

Officers arriving at the scene were told by motorists that the suspect was around the corner with the disabled car, Corina said.

When officers approached the suspect, he was sitting in his car. As they asked him out of the car and prepared to pat him down for weapons, he pulled out a semi-automatic handgun and began firing at the officers, Corina said.

The sheriff’s lieutenant said the suspect was Hispanic, a resident of Los Angeles, had been out of prison on parole for about two weeks and was driving a vehicle stolen in East Los Angeles.

The suspect’s gun was recovered at the scene, Corina said.

“Here you have a case where two officers walk up on a vehicle where they believe someone needs medical assistance and they end up in a gunbattle fighting for their lives,” McDonnell told reporters.

A Whittier Police SUV was observed at the scene with a shattered driver’s side window.

Boyer’s body was taken from UCI Medical Center to the Orange County Coroner’s Office this afternoon in a 10-minute motorcade surrounded by police cars and other public safety officers showing their respect.

Traffic was held while the motorcade passed through Orange County streets.

Update: (Whittier) The Whittier police officer slain earlier today has been
identified as 25-year veteran Keith Boyer, according to Whittier Police Chief
Jeff Piper. The wounded officer was identified as Patrick Hazel. L.A. County

Sheriff’s Lt. John Corina says the suspect is expected to live — and is also
suspected in another murder in East Los Angeles.

 

WHITTIER (CNS) – A police officer was shot and killed today and another
one was wounded by a suspected 26-year-old gang member who had been driving a
stolen car, Whittier police said.

 

The suspect had rear-ended some motorists, disabling the vehicle he was
driving. He then asked people in the car he struck to help him move the
disabled vehicle, according to sheriff’s Lt. John Corina.
Police were called to the location, in the area of Colima Road and Mar
Vista Street, at 8:04 a.m., according to a Whittier PD watch commander.
Officers arriving at the scene were told by motorists that the suspect
was around the corner with the disabled car, Corina said.
When officers approached the suspect, he was sitting in his car. As they
asked him out of the car and prepared to pat him down for weapons, he pulled
out a semi-automatic handgun and began firing at officers, Corina said.
The sheriff’s lieutenant said the suspect was Hispanic, a resident of
Los Angeles, had been out of prison on parole for about two weeks and was
driving a vehicle stolen in East Los Angeles.
The suspect’s gun was recovered at the scene, Corina said.
Paramedics dispatched at 8:17 a.m. to Colima Road and Mar Vista rushed
two police officers to UCI Medical Center, according to a county fire
department dispatcher.
An officer died from his injuries at UCI Medical Center and the other
officer was listed in stable condition, Corina said.
The suspect, although in stable condition, was at an area hospital’s
Intensive Care Unit.
A Whittier Police SUV was observed at the scene with a shattered
driver’s side window.


The body of the deceased officer was taken from UCI Medical Center to
the Orange County Coroner’s Office this afternoon in a 10-minute motorcade
surrounded by police cars and other public safety officers showing their
respect. Traffic was held while the motorcade passed through Orange County
streets.

 

 

IMPERIAL BEACH – Imperial Beach is a popular vacation destination that attracts many people every year, but it’s also become a very stinky place.

Residents say the mysterious odor seems to only come when rain moves into the area.

After a heavy rain storm hits the south bay, portions of Saturn Blvd. gets flooded and with the water comes a strong scent that continues to cause concern for nearby residents.

“The smell is light, not that hard, not that bad,” said resident James Kilijanski.

Kilijanski has lived in Imperial Beach for a number of years. The beach town, he says has changed a lot, but the smell seems to still linger.

“Well, it’s improved over the years quite a bit. They have new hotels of course and the mayor is very active, proactive with keeping everything together here and it became much more of a tourist magnet over the years,” he said.

At night is when Kilijanski says the stench can overpower you.  The strong sewage smell has forced locals to keep their windows shut.  We asked Mayor Serge Dedina about it and he insists there is no odor in imperial beach – but says we should focus is on cleaning up the Tijuana River Valley.

“Well, it’s a problem when it rains. When the bacteria level goes up and then when we have the rain, and because we have higher bacteria, we have all of the drains and all of the urban runoff in conjunction with some of the pollution from the south of the border, it comes up here because the current and tide drives northwards,” he said.

The mayor has asked Mexican authorities if they are dumping sewage into the Tijuana River, but he’s still waiting to get a response.  In the meantime, residents are taking the appropriate measures to stay safe.

“The best advice is don’t go in the water for 72 whole hours until after the rain and then its safe and then the authorities will test the water to make sure it’s safe,” he said.

There is a plan in place to clean up the sewage issues in Baja, California.

Dedina is hoping that project cleans up the runoff – and the smell – coming into IB.  But there’s no official word on when that work will be done.

Have questions or a story idea for CW6’s Carlos Correa? Stay connected with him on twitter: @carloscorrea2 or on facebook: carlos correa

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