Brief Periods of Exercise Offer No Protection from a Sedentary Lifestyle


chairPeople should aim to cut time spent sitting by two to three hours in a 12-hour day

Even people who engage in regular exercise cannot escape health risks posed by spending the majority of their day planted in a seat. Researchers have found that sedentary spells are linked with higher risks for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and death.

The meta-analysis study, which combed through studies concentrating on sedentary behavior, showed that people who get some exercise have an edge over those who engage in minimal or zero exercise, and offers tips to get the body moving that require minimal disruption to the workday.

“More than one half of an average person’s day is spent being sedentary—sitting, watching television, or working at a computer,” says David Alter, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine, University of Toronto. “Our study finds that despite the health-enhancing benefits of physical activity, this alone may not be enough to reduce the risk for disease. It is not good enough to exercise for 30 minutes a day and be sedentary for 23 and half hours.”

Alter says that avoiding sedentary time and getting regular exercise are key for better health. The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, is found here:

Photo credit: CDC
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