Exercise Might Reverse Damage of Too Much Sitting

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A new study suggests that a little activity can mitigate -- and even eliminate -- the health threats of sitting for long periods.

In recent years, millions of white-collar workers have become worried about the health risks of sitting for long periods of time. But a new study published in British medical journal The Lancet suggests that a little activity can keep such threats to your well-being at bay.

The news is especially good for people who sit for long periods of time. But people who binge-watch TV also can take some solace from the study findings.

The researchers found evidence that long periods of sitting are “associated with increased all-cause mortality.” Specifically, the study cited increased risk of illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

However, it found that people who engage in between 60 to 75 minutes of moderate physical activity each day “seem to have no increased risk of mortality, even if they sit for more than eight hours a day.”

Such physical activity also mitigates — but does not eliminate — the health risks of watching TV for long periods (five hours or more of television daily).

According to a summary of the study findings:

These results provide further evidence on the benefits of physical activity, particularly in societies where increasing numbers of people have to sit for long hours for work and may also inform future public health recommendations.

The precise amount of exercise you require to achieve these benefits differs. According to a report in the Washington Post:

The first thing you need to know is that it’s not a fixed number but based on a ratio that depends on the amount of sitting you do daily. If you sit four hours a day, you need to do at least 30 minutes of exercise. An eight-hour work day of sitting means one hour of exercise.

The report is based on an analysis of data involving approximately 1 million adults ages 45 and older.

Will this news change how often you exercise? Let us know by commenting below or on our Facebook page.

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