There has been a lot of information about the dangers of prolonged sitting and being sedentary. In fact, sitting has been compared to smoking in relation to its dangers to your overall health. However, many people work at a desk job or drive for hours every day. What can they do to help mitigate those health risks?
New research shows that even quick bursts of exercise can reduce those health risks. Just 30 minutes of light physical activity a day can offset the risks of early death by about 17%. Even just short 1 to 2-minute bursts of movement were linked to long-term valuable health benefits. It bears out the validity of what I always say – baby steps are the way to go! You don’t have to begin with an hour workout daily to reap benefits. Even just a few minutes is valuable.
Of course, if you include longer sessions of moderate to vigorous exercise, you reduce the risk of early mortality by 35%.
It’s good news that even modest amounts of physical activity will provide health benefits. In Today is Still the Day there is an entire chapter devoted to exercise and I do mention using bathroom breaks at work or at home to add in some intentional exertion like a few squats, stretches, high knees or lunges. I work from home and I make it a point to get up at least every 30 or 40 minutes and do 50 high knees or 20 jumping jacks. Even just walking around or stretching helps. It gets the blood flowing and I can think more clearly too. It’s wonderful to see that validated by research.
Our bodies were designed for movement. However, that doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the gym. Staying active and incorporating movement into your day periodically will go a long way to improving your health.
How long do you sit during a typical day? Do you intentionally get up and move periodically?
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