Sit Less, Move More
Does exercise “cancel out” a sedentary lifestyle? In other words, is it OK to sit for 8 hours a day if you exercise occasionally?
Recently there have been a number of studies looking at the effects of a sedentary lifestyle and if exercise counteracts that lifestyle. (See links to the American Heart Association’s journal, Circulation and The Lancet below)
The study published in The Lancet concluded that 60-75 minutes of vigorous exercise per day does offset the affects of sitting for 8 hours per day. But getting that amount of exercise can be difficult. The American Heart Association came to a similar conclusion.
So, if you can’t get 60-75 minutes of vigorous exercise per day, what is the best way to counteract the negative effects off sitting for 8 hours per day? Quite simply, keep a regular exercise program 3-4 times per week. And then move more on your “off” days. When at work, get up on each phone call and Stand and Talk. For every hour of sitting, take a 5 minute stand break. If possible, stand during meetings. On long flights, annoy your row mates and take a walk back to the flight attendants.
Doing these simple things can reduce the detrimental effects of sitting for extended periods of time.