Do you sit at a desk all day? It might be time to get up and get moving!
Do you sit at a desk all day? Many jobs require sitting all day from nine to five. These hours can be harmful for your health, particularly if you (like most people) find yourself slouching. A new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicinehas found that such sedentary work days can be counteracted with exercise—specifically 30 to 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity. Such a change can even impact your lifespan.
The recent study is a meta-analysis of nine previous studies documenting 44,370 individuals across four countries. These individuals all recorded their activity on fitness trackers, eliminating much of the risk of bias or mistakes through self-reporting. Across the data, moderate-to-vigorous activity was inversely correlated with risk of death for those who led a more sedentary life. This means that as people exercised less, they had a higher risk of death.
For those who spend a lot of time sitting (eight to 10 hours), exercise is a way to reduce this risk. With 30 to 40 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise a day, “the association between high sedentary time and risk of death is not significantly different from those with low amounts of sedentary time,” write the authors. Cycling, walking, running, and even gardening can all be helpful in meeting your daily exercise quota by getting you moving and raising your heart rate.
While this study is not the final word on how to counteract sitting all day, it is in line with the most recent advice from the World Health Organization (WHO). The World Health Organization 2020 guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behavior says that “reducing sedentary behaviors is recommended across all age groups and abilities.”[…]