November 11, 2012

Think You're Fit? Better Not Sit!

Many of us are complacent that our three (or even seven) day a week cardio workouts protect us from health risks such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.  However, a recent study corroborates what other studies have shown; if you sit too much, your exercise routine is not enough to counterbalance the damage caused by underactivity the rest of the day.
It makes sense if you think about it; even if you exercise an hour a day (and how many of us do even that?), you still have another 23 to account for.  The women in this recent study (who were regular exercisers) still sat for an average of nine hours a day!  And nine hours of sitting a day is what most Americans do.  Unfortunately, exercise is not enough to counterbalance the health effects of such long periods of inactivity. 
To offset this negative effect, make an effort to get up at least every fifteen minutes.  This does not mean you need to go out for a jog.  Stand up when on the phone, walk around your desk, walk to your colleague instead of sending an e-mail. You can download reminder apps for your phone or computer to make sure you get up every fifteen minutes.  You will get a physical break, the movement will  refresh you, keep you mentally sharp, and may help stave off the damage of inactivity.

Lynette L Craft, Theodore W Zderic, Susan M Gapstur, Erik H VanIterson, Danielle M Thomas, Juned Siddique, Marc T Hamilton. Evidence that women meeting physical activity guidelines do not sit less: An observational inclinometry study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2012; 9 (1): 122 DOI:

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