A new study suggests that prolonged sitting is tied to a risk of death as high as the one triggered by smoking. Yet, there is a silver lining of the study: you can offset the negative consequences of sitting by exercising an hour per day.
British researchers found that sitting for eight hours on minimum can boost mortality risk by 60 percent. This means that sitting has just become as lethal as smoking and more deadly than obesity in the Western world.
Study authors recommend people with sedentary jobs to get up and break routine for five minutes every hour and exercise moderately during lunch breaks and at evenings. If you don’t have time you can break that hour of exercise into tiny bits such as the 5-minute hourly breaks and short periods of brisk walking or cycling.
The World Health Organization recommends just half hour of exercise if we want to stay healthy. Nonetheless, nearly half of adult females and 30 percent of adult males fail to achieve this goal.
Dr. Ulf Ekelund, lead author of the study and researcher with the the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences and Cambridge University, explained that one hour of exercise can considerably lower sitting-related risk of dying prematurely
Ekelund noted that you don’t have to hit the gym or take up a sport. Instead, it is as simple as doing brisk walking whenever time permits over the course of a day. That hour can be split up but you need to stay physically active for at least 60 minutes every day.
The research team found that sedentary office work paired with watching TV in the evening can virtually kill you. Researchers urge authorities to adopt policies that can force people to exercise such as closing city areas to cars in weekends and funding free gyms in public locations.
Scientists advise office employees to take those 5-minute breaks whenever possible. They can go to the coffee machine, bathroom, or upstairs.
“Build physical activity in your everyday life,”
The latest study, however, wasn’t able to explain the link between sitting for long hours and high risk of early death. Study authors believe that it may have something to do with changes in the metabolism such as lower leptin levels which influence energy balance.
The study was published Wednesday in the British medical journal The Lancet.
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