By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) — We could be sitting ourselves to death, reports WBZ-TV’s Dr. Mallika Marshall.

Researchers at Columbia University looked at nearly 8,000 middle age and older adults and found they sat on average 11 to 12 hours a days.

They also found that sitting for more than 12 hours on a given day increased the risk of death, regardless of how much they exercised.

But people who kept periods of sitting to less than 30 minutes had a lower risk of death.

This isn’t the first study to find that sitting is dangerous, but it is the largest to link sedentary time with the risk of death. And now some experts consider sitting the new smoking.

The best advice? Try to get up and move every half hour. Take a walking meeting instead of sitting in a room. Rather than emailing someone in the building, walk to their office. And consider setting a timer on your phone to remind you to get up every 30 minutes.

Dogs on a bed (WBZ-TV)

Many of you may put you four-legged friends to bed in a separate room so they don’t disturb your sleep, but according to a new study out of the Mayo Clinic, having Fido sleep in your bedroom may help you sleep better.

Researchers looked at 40 people, mostly healthy middle-aged women with one dog.

When they kept their dog in their bedroom, they maintained sleep efficiency (the relation of time spend asleep to time spend in bed). However those who slept with their dogs in their bed has slightly lower sleep efficiency and woke up more often throughout the night.

Dogs sometimes snore. They make noises when they dream. They get up and re-position in the middle of the night. And if you have more than one pet, these things multiply.

This was small study, so we’re not sure if dog size makes a difference or if all people will react in the same way.

But based on these findings, having a dog in your room, but not in your bed, can be comforting and promote good sleep.

Dr. Mallika Marshall