Today’s society is geared towards sedentary behaviour. From sitting in a desk chair all day at work to driving or watching TV at home, it’s hard to avoid being on our backside for hours a day.
But a Toronto research team has been closely analysing 47 studies into sedentary behaviour for a new study that’s running in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The team adjusted their data to include the duration of time someone spent exercising versus their sedentary behavior. They found that the perils of sitting dramatically outweighed the benefits of daily exercise, although of course the more you exercise, the lower the impact of the sedentary behaviour.
The study linked sitting for long periods of time to premature death caused by cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes as well as cancer.
The World Health Organisation recently reported that physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for death around the world, with sitting for eight to 12 hours a day increasing your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 90 per cent.
So what can you do to decrease your sedentary time?
The study’s authors made some simple suggestions. The first was to become aware of the amount of time you’re actually sitting in order to identify the breadth of the problem and curb the time spent on your backside.
Standing desks at work have also been trending around the world. If this isn’t a reality for your workplace, then make it your daily goal to stand up, stretch and go for a quick walk for one to three minutes every half hour. If you need help remembering, set an alarm on your phone or desktop computer.
While watching TV, use the ad breaks as your reminder to get up, go for a quick walk around the house and stretch. Every little bit of decreased time spent sitting helps.