In today’s workplace, many people spend a lot of time sitting and looking at a computer screen. They could be doing this all day. That is a long time to be sitting, and it’s not very good for your health.
Not only that, after we get home from work, we usually just do more sitting.
What can you do about it? New research has discovered an effective antidote to all this sitting and lack of physical activity – one hour of exercise a day can counteract all of the negative health effects of an inactive lifestyle.
And doing this is more important than you may think – statistics show that around the world, about five million people die annually because they don’t get a minimal amount of exercise, which is defined as 30 minutes of activity at least five days a week.
So, if you sit at least eight hours a day, you should try to get at least 60 minutes of exercise daily. This may sound like a lot, but you can make it more manageable by breaking it up into smaller chunks. You don’t have to do it all at once.
For example, if it’s feasible you could walk or take a bicycle to work or take the stairs instead of the elevator.
To see if exercise could reverse the effects of an inactive lifestyle, researchers looked at a number of studies. They divided the subjects of the studies into four groups, depending on how much they exercised. The lowest exercise group exercised less than five minutes a day, while the highest group exercised 60 minutes a day. They found that 60 minutes a day of exercise was enough wipe out the increased risk of early death associated with an inactive lifestyle.
People who are inactive have a 50 percent greater chance of dying early compared to people who are more active, an increased risk that is very similar to smoking and obesity.
Researchers stressed the importance of getting some kind of exercise during the day if you are generally inactive, even if you cannot manage 60 minutes, to reduce the risk of early death.