Time to Move!

exercise-walkingYou are probably reading this sitting down. There have been many studies in recent years about how bad sitting is for you but with so many of us desk-bound due to our jobs, it’s hard to get off our bums sometimes. Even after switching to a standing desk and averaging about 5 kilometers of walking a day, I wonder if I move enough. And how much is enough to counteract the perils of sitting?

Thankfully, some clever researchers looked into it. Using previous studies from the US, Australia and Western Europe the team evaluated which groups of people had the highest mortality rate based on a sitting/exercising ratio. What they found was that daily sitting time was not associated with increased mortality in those who were categorized as the most active. Interestingly, those that sat the least but were also the least active had a significant increased risk of dying during the studies’ follow-ups. Exercise is important. You can get more details about the study, as well as lots of warnings against TV watching, in The Lancet.

The researchers interpreted their findings like this: “High levels of moderate intensity physical activity (i.e., about 60–75 min per day) seem to eliminate the increased risk of death associated with high sitting time.” Now while an hour-plus of exercise a day sounds overwhelming, it needn’t be taken all at once. A brisk walk for only 15 minutes, four times a day meets that goal. If you aren’t sure when you can find the time to walk more, here are some tips to sneak in walks throughout your day.

Image courtesy of nenetus