Do you try to head to the gym after work to add some activity into your day? If you are feeling guilty for spending most of the day in your desk chair and hope that an hour of cardio will make up for that, scientists are saying exercise won’t make up for being sedentary. In fact, studies show that “those who sit for long hours raise their risks of getting cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and early death.” This is true for those that fit exercise into their day.
“Those who engage in regular physical activity but still spend a large proportion of their day in sedentary activity were found, on average, to be 30% less likely to die of any cause in a given period than were those who get little to no exercise. But even those who punctuate a long day of sitting with a vigorous workout were estimated to be 16% more likely to die of any cause in a given time than were those who do not sit for long.”
What can you do to lower your risks if you lead a sedentary life? Dr. David Alter from the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute recommends being active for at least 3 minutes of every hour of inactivity. Exercise while watching tv at night. Try to reduce the amount of sitting time daily by at least 2-3 hours per every 12 hour interval. And of course, regular exercise, while also reducing sedentary time is important to maintain health and well-being.
If you want to learn more about the dangers of sitting, check out Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN discussing this here.