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How Long Do You Need to Exercise to Offset a Day of Sitting?

Most Americans spend excessive time on their desks or computers or maybe driving. Unfortunately, such a sedentary lifestyle can seriously impact your health and even result in early death.

However, that you’re spending more time on your chair doesn’t mean that you’re doomed.

Exercising for 30 minutes daily can offset a day of sitting. Yes! And this has been verified by a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.



Physical activity prolongs the lifespan

Researchers from Irving Medical Centre, University of Columbia, evaluated 7,999 adults. Subjects were healthy and aged 45 years and older. The issues had participated in a previous study that required wearing activity monitors for four days between 2009 and 2013.

The research team obtained data from the monitors. The data included the amount of physical activity the participants engaged in and the intensity of the physical activity they engaged in. Then, over five years, the researchers tracked the health risks and mortalities experienced by the participants.

Results from the study revealed that engaging in at least 30 minutes of light physical activity could reduce the risk of early death by at least 17 percent.

Replacing your sedentary time with exercise, whether moderate or vigorous, such as biking or running, will reduce your risk of early death by 35 percent. The researchers also found that short bursts of physical activity, even as little as 1–2 minutes, were associated with long-term health benefits.

Prolonged sitting is harmful to your health

According to the CDC, at least one in four American adults sit for more than 8 hours daily. Also, no less than 40 percent of adults don’t engage in physical activity, as reported by a 2018 study.

Both behaviors are deadly together.

A sedentary lifestyle has been associated with multiple health risks.

Prolonged sitting — like 6 to 8 hours daily- increased the risk of hypertension, truncal obesity, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol levels resulting in metabolic syndrome, which increases one’s risk of stroke, heart attack, etc. death.

This happens because when we sit for a long time, our metabolic system doses off.

We expend very little energy, which leads to the accumulation of power in the form of fat. The resultant effect is an increase in the level of stress hormones in the blood, resulting in high blood sugar and blood pressure, increasing the risk for chronic diseases.

Also, when we stay sedentary for hours at a stretch, our blood doesn’t pump steadily through our bodies. This may result in swelling of the legs and the development of blood clots and varicose veins.

So, how much should you move?

The human body was designed to move.

Frequent moving increases the strength of our muscles and also improves cardiovascular health. Plus, it drastically reduces our chances of developing chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cancer.

Movement improves our general mood, decreases stress levels, and prolongs our lifespan.

The vital thing to note here is that all individuals must engage in some form of movement at least once every 60 minutes in an 8-hour working day to offset the effects of prolonged sitting.

How many hours do you sit per day?

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