We should all now be well aware of the fact that including regular activity into our lifestyles is supposed to be good for your health. The Government certainly continues to try and communicate that message to the population as a whole. However, a large body of recent research, now points to the fact that too much sitting can significantly raise the risk of premature death along with developing obesity, type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer; and here is the kicker EVEN if you exercise regularly. Exercising regularly (e.g. going to the gym or for a run) but sitting for the majority of the day still classifies you as having a ‘sedentary’ lifestyle. Most of us spend a great deal of our days sitting in cars, behind desks, on planes, trains and in front of the TV, with very little concern as to the long term effects on our health, especially if we consider ourselves to be ‘active’.
This effect was first officially observed in the 1950s when researchers found out that bus drivers (sitting all day) were twice as likely to die of a heart attack than their bus conductor colleagues (on their feet a lot of the time). The science is progressing all the time and currently there is no scientifically validated recommendation on just how long too long is when it comes to sitting. The current consensus is that ideally a short two minute break every 30 minutes will minimise the effect of sitting on one’s health, even if it involves no more than walking around the room, making a cup of tea or going over to speak with a colleague (standing up). There are a number of lifestyle choices that can make a significant difference to your overall activity levels during your day, helping you to mitigate the potential long term harm associated with a sedentary lifestyle. I will be discussing specific strategies on how to reduce the detrimental effects of long term sitting in future posts.
For more information on his subject please have a look at the following NHS Live well article – http://tinyurl.com/k56dnwn