It’s well known that a sedentary lifestyle is not very good for you. Spending long periods of time slouched over a desk or sitting on a couch can give you short term problems such as back pain or lethargy.
But recent studies have shown that, worryingly, this lifestyle can make you age quicker, make the brain decline quicker and lead to a higher chance of diabetes and obesity.
Thankfully, according to recent reports in the medical journal, The Lancet, an hour’s ‘brisk exercise’ every day can reduce the risks of an early death linked to sedentary behaviour.
The data collected analysed the physical activity of more than a million people. Current guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week.
Inactivity has been linked to 5.3 million deaths globally – compared with 5.1 linked to smoking. The Lancet findings indicate that the overall cost to the economy of inactivity is $67.5bn per year.
The researchers studied the impact of activity and sedentary behaviour by analysing and re-analysing 13 older studies.
The studies looked at how active people were – from very inactive (5 minutes per day) up to very active (60-75 mins per day). The researchers then studied how many people died during the follow up period after the studies.
- Those who sat for 8 hours per day but were physically active had a much lower risk of premature death.
- People how sat for fewer hours per day but were not active actually had a much higher risk of premature death.
- Sitting for a long period and being inactive obviously carried the greatest risk.
How much exercise do you need?
The leader of the study, Prof Ulf Ekelund, said:
“For many people who commute to work and have office-based jobs, there is no way to escape sitting for prolonged periods of time.
“For these people in particular, we cannot stress enough the importance of getting exercise, whether it’s getting out for a walk at lunchtime, going for a run in the morning or cycling to work.
“An hour of physical activity per day is the ideal, but if this is unmanageable, then at least doing some exercise each day can help reduce the risk.”
Idea’s for getting active:
We’ve put together some link’s of handy and inspirational ways for you to get active:
Stephen Morrison’s blog is full of inspirational way’s for you to get active.
How to stay healthy and active in the office
“A cheat’s guide to staying active”
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