How many of you sit all day at your desk at work? And how many of you sit all day on your couch when spending weekends? If you do, you should think twice, because sitting for a long time is associated with an increased risk of death.
Sitting all day can be harmful
A multi-national team of researchers recently published a study on the British Medical Journal (BMJ). The researchers found that being sedentary, for example sitting, for 9.5 hours or more a day (excluding sleeping time) can bring an increased risk of death.
If you have an office job where you sit all day at desks or around conference tables, looking at the computer more than you stand, or if you spend all day on your sofa watching TV, you should literally take steps to reduce your sedentary time.
Our bodies are built to move, and doing exercises can help you keep healthy.
Exercise can bring you benefits
The researchers found that higher levels of physical exercise, regardless of intensity, can bring a lower risk of early death in middle-aged and older people.
The World Health Organization guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity each week. But these guidelines are based mainly on self-reported activity, which is often imprecise. Therefore, what kind of exercise intensity is needed is still unclear.
Exercise at any intensity can lower your risk of early death
The latest study followed 36,383 participants aged 40 and above for an average of 5.8 years, aiming to assess the relationship of physical activity, sedentary time and risk of death.
Activity levels were categorized into quarters, from least to most active:
—Little or no physical activity
—Light activity, such as walking slowly or light tasks like cooking dinner or washing dishes
—Moderate activity, such as brisk walking, vacuuming or mowing the lawn
—Vigorous activity, such as jogging, carrying heavy loads or digging
It turned out that among people who took 5 hours of light-intensity exercise or about 24 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per day, the risk of death was 50% lower compared to those engaging in little or no physical activity.
This suggests that you can keep healthy with just 24 minutes of brisk walking per day!
Since any level of exercise, regardless of intensity, can lead to a substantially lower risk of death, why not leave your chair now, and take a brisk walking?