Sitting is dangerous to your health. The health risks associated with sitting for eight or more hours a day — whether at work, home or commuting — can be eliminated with one hour or more of physical activity a day, according to a study from an international team of researchers published in The Lancet.
The researchers found that 60 to 75 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per day were sufficient to eliminate the increased risk of early death associated with sitting for over eight hours per day. However, as many as three out of four people in the study failed to reach this level of daily activity.
The study states, “The greatest risk of early death was for those individuals who were physically inactive, regardless of the amount of time sitting — they were between 28% and 59% more likely to die early compared with those who were in the most active quartile — a similar risk to that associated with smoking and obesity. In other words, lack of physical activity is a greater health risk than prolonged sitting.”
“For many people who commute to work and have office-based jobs, there is no way to escape sitting for prolonged periods of time. For these people in particular, 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. An hour of physical activity per day is the ideal, but if this is unmanageable, then at least doing some exercise each day can help reduce the risk,” said Professor Ulf Ekelund from the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge.
Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns, including obesity and metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions that includes increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels. Too much sitting also seems to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.
So, get off the couch and your chair at work! Take a walk around the neighborhood with your family and your beloved pet, act like a kid again and play with your kids at the playground and forgo the elevator at work by breaking a sweat climbing the stairs. Your body – and your family – will thank you for taking active steps to prolong your health and your life.
Are you in need of fitness assistance? Fitness for Health can help you create a healthy, active lifestyle while having fun and sustain weight management. We offer customized exercise programs designed to fit your and your children’s exact needs while helping you reach your unique health goals. From first-time gym-goers to NFL professional athletes looking for athletic training, Fitness for Health has fitness programs to help people of all ages and abilities reach their fullest potential. And, we offer family workouts and Open Gym playtimes (returning in September) so families can become active together.
Do you want your tweens and teens to get off the couch? Concerned about their weight management? Searching for a physical activity where your children will have fun and want to keep coming back? Fitness for Health’s Healthy Heart class is just the ticket. Your kids will have a blast while breaking a sweat with our heart-pumping exergaming program. Using our state-of-the-art equipment, kids will get fit, feel good and get healthy.
This program is a cardio clinic used to help children who are overweight. It is a successful product of our collaboration with Potomac Pediatrics to help improve kids’ health and fitness.
Join the fight against childhood obesity and register for our Healthy Heart program today!