There is a wide consensus that sitting for long periods of time is not good for you. It is potentially unhealthy and increases your risk of developing a variety of conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. As well as being unproductive, prolonged sitting reduces your immunity and makes it more difficult for you to recover from illness. The good news is that you can counteract the negative health effects of sitting by increasing the amount of time you engage in physical activity. Exercise cuts down on the metabolic costs of sitting and increases blood circulation, helping to keep your body healthy.
A study published in the Journal of the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM) found that moderate exercise can help offset the health risks associated with prolonged sitting. The study found doing about an hour a day of exercise can undo the effects of sitting for long periods. To compensate for 10 hours of sitting inactive, up to 40 minutes of moderate to high-intensity physical activity each day is sufficient.
“In active individuals doing about 30-40 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity, the association between high sedentary time and risk of death is not significantly different from those with low amounts of sedentary time. People can still protect their health and offset the harmful effects of physical inactivity,” explained the researchers.
The study release matched the release of the World Health Organization 2020 Global Guidelines on Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior. It’s a well-known fact that exercise and physical activity are crucial to good health. But recent events have significantly increased the health risks of sedentary behavior, and many people are curtailing their activity. Making small changes to your daily routine can substantially increase daily physical activity levels, however. No matter how busy we are, there are opportunities to be more active throughout our day.