We all know we want to be more active, but there is increasing evidence that we also need to pay less time sitting down. To reduce your risk of harmful health from inactivity, we are advised to exercise regularly – at least 150 minutes/week & reduce sitting time.Excess sitting can create overweight, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and early death. Sitting for a long time is thought to slow the metabolism, that affects the body’s ability to blood pressure, regulate blood sugar, and break down body fat.
In the new research, in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers observed almost 8,000 people aged 45 yrs or older for an average of 4 yrs. During this period, 340 of these people died.
Researchers discovered that people who spent more of their waking hours being inactive had a greater risk of early death, from any cause — compared with those who ran more during the day. This is also known as “all-cause mortality.
Moreover, people who were inactive for one or two hours at a time were more likely to die early from any cause than those they took frequent breaks from sitting — even if their total inactive time was the same.
The all-cause death rate was almost twice higher among the highest sitters — people with the highest total inactive periods & frequent inactive periods of at least 60 minutes — compared to those they moved more & more often throughout the day.
Researchers applied hip-mounted activity monitors to measure people’s inactive time during waking hours. Measures were done over 07 days. On average, people were inactive for 77% of the waking hours — about 12 hours/day.
The activity monitors only measured while people were moving, so researchers couldn’t know whether an idle person was sitting, lying down, or standing still.
Keith Diaz, Ph.D., lead author of the research & an associate research scientist in the Columbia University Dept. of Medicine, told that “we have no reason to disbelieve that idle behaviour functions physiologically different for younger adults.”
Some research, though, suggests that walking more frequently supports the body function better, Like by improving insulin sensitivity & glucose handling.
The link between inactivity & increased risk of all-cause death was still there even after researchers took into account people’s sex, age, race, body mass index & workout habits.
Researchers Diaz says, ” our findings advised that inactive period was linked to death regardless of one’s moderate-to-vigorous physical activity levels. The more accurate analysis is still needed, but our findings don’t support the concept that workout can undo the damage of being inactive. ”
So going for a workout after work may not make up for an inactive lifestyle. Neither will run the gym.
One 2015 review of prior research found that using a standing desk had little impact on health labels like “good” cholesterol, insulin sensitivity, and hip and waist circumference.
That may be because standing doesn’t always mean walking. Treadmill desks, though, allowed more benefits.
Basically, the only cure for inactivity looks to be less inactivity. The big issue is how often, how long, and how intensely do you need to move around during the day?
More study is needed to understand what combination of activity is most effective at counteracting being inactive. Meanwhile, Diaz recommended that people get up and move every 30 minutes. That’s why his research observed less of an increased risk of death for people they were idle for shorter than 30 minutes at a time. Other researchers have discovered that just walking for 1 to 2 minutes every 30 minutes at a light to moderate pace can increase your insulin sensitivity.
You could gain that by walking to the water cooler or up some flights of stairs. Or by stopping your movie at home & walking around the outside of your residence.
Of course, doing more will provide you with an even greater health boost. Sarah Walls, a professional strength & conditioning trainer & personal trainer with SAPT Strength & Performance Training, Inc. in Virginia, gives some exercise recommendations for people they can spare 05 minutes/hour.
For a healthy break, try a 4-minute Tabata workout 8 rounds for 20 seconds of acute cardio like running or jumping rope followed with 10 seconds of rest. You should also try 05 minutes of body weight squats, lunges, pushups, planks, or wall sits.
Researchers Walls recommends setting a timer to go off every 50 minutes, so you can go around for 10 minutes before returning to your desk. When I’m working, I apply an app that halts my computer for 1 minute/20 minutes & 5 minute/hour. This assists me to break free of getting lost in my work & avoid sitting.
Try walking to work, or parking farther away and walking the rest of the distance. Or consider taking the stairs alternatively of the lift.
Researchers Walls said, “Make a point to identify activities to do at home that you enjoy, and that needs some moving around.” Things like walking, gardening, cleaning the house or playing.