A recent study has revealed that dedicating just 30 to 40 minutes a day to exercise can mitigate the negative effects of prolonged sitting. Sitting for extended periods of time has been linked to an increased risk of premature death. However, engaging in moderate to vigorous physical activity for half an hour to 40 minutes each day can help counteract these risks.
The study, conducted by researchers at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, discovered that sedentary individuals who incorporated intense exercise into their daily routines had a similar risk of early death as those who were not sedentary. The types of exercise that proved beneficial included cycling, brisk walking, and gardening.
Professor Ulf Ekelund, one of the researchers involved in the study, emphasized the importance of physical activity for individuals with high sedentary time. He stated, “In active individuals doing about 30 to 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.”
The findings of this study align with the guidelines issued by the National Health Service (NHS), which recommends that adults engage in physical activity daily, including strength training at least twice a week. The NHS also suggests that adults aim for two-and-a-half hours of moderate intensity activity per week, such as brisk walking.
It is worth noting that prior research has consistently highlighted the risk of sitting for extended periods on overall health. Increased sedentary time has been associated with a higher risk of heart attack and stroke, even when compared to other activities such as sleeping or standing.
The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, involved analyzing data from over 44,000 middle-aged and older adults who wore fitness trackers for an average of 4 to 14.5 years. During this period, 3,451 participants passed away. The results indicated that individuals who spent the most time sedentary faced the highest risk of mortality. However, those who engaged in regular moderate to vigorous physical activity demonstrated a similar risk to those who spent the least time sedentary.
In conclusion, this study emphasizes the importance of incorporating exercise into our daily lives, particularly for individuals who spend long periods sitting. By dedicating a short amount of time each day to moderate to vigorous physical activity, individuals can potentially reduce the risk of premature death associated with sedentary behavior.
How much exercise should I do to offset the risks of sitting?
Engaging in 30 to 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day can help mitigate the negative effects of prolonged sitting.
What types of exercises are beneficial?
Activities such as cycling, brisk walking, and gardening have been shown to be effective in offsetting the risks of sedentary behavior.
What are the risks of prolonged sitting?
Extended periods of sitting have been linked to an increased risk of premature death, heart attack, and stroke.
What are the recommendations for daily physical activity?
The NHS suggests that adults aim for at least two-and-a-half hours of moderate intensity activity per week, along with strength training exercises at least twice a week.