It’s bad news for those who work in an office. A new study shows that sitting for eight hours per day can be as dangerous as obesity and even smoking. But there is something one can do to reverse this damage – exercise (or just get moving) for one hour per day!

This new research comes after scientists analyzed data from over 1 million people, involving many previous studies done on the topic. It was found that sitting all day can contribute to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and even premature death.

It was found that it would take 60-75 minutes per day of moderate-intensity exercise to undo the damage of a daily regimen of sitting in place. Doing so could actually dramatically reduce the risk of premature death and other varying risk factors.

One of the authors of the study, Ulf Ekelund of the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences, said:

“We cannot stress enough the importance of getting exercise, whether it’s getting out for a walk at lunchtime, going for a run in the morning or cycling to work.” [1]

Lars Bo Andersen, who added commentary on the research for its publication in the journal Lancet, agrees with the assessment. He said other problems also have an effect on health, not just sitting for eight hours a day on its own.

“A lot of people don’t just watch TV, they eat fatty snacks at the same time.”

The study may also be enough to suggest that the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 30 minutes of exercise a day may not be adequate to counteract the damage that being sedentary does to one’s body.

Ekelund added:

“Our message is a positive one: it is possible to reduce – or even eliminate – these risks if we are active enough, even without having to take up sports or go to the gym.”

Though only 25 percent of the people in the study actually exercised 60 minutes or more per day, Ekelund says that you can fit in exercise by biking or walking to work or taking a walking break during your work day.

Heart expert Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a preventive cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, who was not involved in the study, stated:

“I love this study because it really is showing that we can do something. There were a lot of people involved. It shows how relevant exercise is in our lives. It’s no longer a leisure activity, and it’s not just a treat to get a workout in, it’s not an option not to. It’s something we have to put in our lives.” [2]

Sources:

[1] Sci-Tech Today

[2] CBS News


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Post written byAnna Scanlon:
Anna Scanlon is an author of YA and historical fiction and a PhD student at the University of Leicester where she is finishing her degree in modern history.