An oldie but a goodie: this post was originally published on January 22, 2015.
Did you make a New Year’s resolution on January 1st? Was it to exercise more? New research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that instead of just exercising more, we may actually need to sit less. The systematic review and meta-analysis synthesizes the results of 47 studies and comes to the conclusion that sitting for long periods of time can lead to an increased risk of early death, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes.
This is true even for those of us who are already active. The research finds that those who are physically active on a regular basis but still spend the majority of their time being sedentary, still have greater risk for adverse health effects than those who are not sedentary for long periods. Even those who exercise vigorously but still sit for long periods, have a greater mortality rate than those who are not sedentary for long periods of time. The bottom line seems to be that getting our 30 minutes of daily exercise is not enough to stay healthy in the long term. We need to move more and sit less all day, every day.
To reduce the time you spend sitting down during the day, try some of these tips:
– Get a standing desk or treadmill desk
– Take regular breaks when sitting at your desk to get up and walk around
– Use your smart phone or smart watch to remind you to get up every 10 or 15 minutes
– Instead of calling co-workers on the phone, make a habit of getting up and walking to their offices
– When watching TV at home, get up during commercial breaks and stretch or walk around your house
– Set a goal to try to reduce sedentary time by 2-3 hours in a 12 hour day