Worried that a sedentary lifestyle is taking a toll on your health? Here's some news: researchers now suggest that drinking coffee might counteract the mortality risk linked to prolonged sitting.

The latest study published in the journal BMC Public Health evaluated more than 10,000 people in the United States to estimate the joint associations of daily sitting time and coffee consumption on all-cause mortality and cardiovascular deaths.

The participants were from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and were followed up for around 13 years. The study focused on analyzing participants' daily sitting durations and coffee intake levels. Based on their sitting habits (less than 4 hours, 4-6 hours, 6-8 hours, or more than 8 hours per day) and coffee consumption habits (non-drinkers and three levels of consumption among coffee drinkers), researchers grouped the participants for analysis.

The results revealed that as expected in previous studies participants who sat more than eight hours a day faced a 46% higher risk of death from all causes, and a 79% risk of death from cardiovascular disease, compared to those who sat less than four hours a day.

Individuals who sat for more than six hours daily without drinking coffee have a 1.6 times increased risk of mortality from all causes. In contrast, coffee drinkers showed a 33% lower risk of overall mortality and a 54% lower risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease compared to non-coffee drinkers.

When researchers looked at both sitting time and coffee consumption together, they found that the higher mortality risk linked to prolonged sitting was observed only among non-coffee drinkers, not among those who consumed coffee.

The study has not examined the mechanism by which coffee has protective effects on sedentary behavior. However, the researchers concluded that "people with the highest quartile of coffee consumption were observed to have reduced risks of both all-cause and cardiovascular mortality compared with non-coffee consumers."

"Overall, sedentary behavior has been showed to increase the risk of all-cause and CVD mortality, conversely, coffee intake has been observed to reduce the risk. To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the joint associations of daily sitting time and coffee consumption with all-cause and CVD mortality," the researchers wrote.