We have all been made aware of how harmful smoking is to our health but very few of us are aware that extensive sitting day in and day out can be even more harmful than smoking. A new study was recently published showing that those who lead a primarily sedentary lifestyle had higher mortality rates than those who smoke.
I know I sit a lot during the day even being as active as I am. I sit when I commute to work, I sit when I get to the office and I sit again when I commute back home in the evening.
There are many people who sit extensive periods of time throughout the day and have found that they have gained weight. That’s because sedentary lifestyles not only contribute to weight gain, but also is a big contributing factor for a host of chronic diseases such as:
- Some cancers
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Heart Disease
I talk all about it here:
Bottom line sitting all day is NOT good for you and if you want to maintain a healthy body you must be active. The question is “well how active does one have to be to counteract the effects of sitting all day?”
The typical rule of thumb is to participate in moderate activity at least 150 minutes a week (30 minutes a day for at least 5 days) or rigorous activity at least 75 minutes a week (25 minutes a day for at least 3 days). This is a good start but if you want to also lose weight, it will require at least working out 5 days a week at least 60 minutes a day (for a total of 300 minutes of activity).
You don’t have to do all of this activity at once. You can break it up during the day like so:
7:00 am: Walk for 15 minutes
12:00 pm: Walk for 15 minutes before eating lunch
6:00 pm: Walk for 30 minutes before dinner time
Don’t overthink it, just MOVE YOUR BODY. It doesn’t have to be in a formal gym. Be active wherever you are. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, get up at work and walk the floor every hour to stretch those legs, park far away from the door entrance to get in a few extra steps or run around with your children at the park. Find something fun and it won’t feel like a chore.
I hope you find this article helpful and it prompts you to get up and move more throughout the day.
How many hours a day would you estimate you sit?
What is your activity level (sedentary, beginner, intermediate, or advanced)?
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