New research refutes previous findings by experts that it is impossible to eliminate the harmful effects of a sedentary lifestyle. How many minutes of activity a day are enough to take care of your health?
Each of us realizes how important an appropriate amount of exercise is for our health. However, the lives of most of us are dominated by a sedentary lifestyle – this is facilitated, among other things, by the type of work that is often performed sitting in front of a computer. In turn, after returning from work, we relax on the couch. It is not news that this promotes the development of diseases, and this type of rest is the least beneficial method for regenerating the body and mind. Until now, researchers believed that regular exercise did not completely eliminate the negative effects associated with a sedentary lifestyle. However, the latest reports show something different and are much more optimistic.
How many minutes of activity per day if we lead a sedentary lifestyle?
The latest research results show that it is possible to completely eliminate the negative health effects associated with a sedentary lifestyle. It turns out that to improve our health, regular physical activity every day, limited to only about 22 minutes, is enough. The research was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
“The study found that the current recommendation of 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous activity is sufficient to counteract the harmful effects of prolonged sitting,” said study lead author Edvard Sagelv, a researcher at the University of Norway. The researcher also added that these are activities that make breathing a little harder, such as brisk walking, gardening or climbing a hill. If some people think that more than 20 minutes of activity seems like a long time, the scientist argues that this is not the case: “Think about it: just 20 minutes a day is enough, that is, a short walk for 10 minutes twice a day – for example, when getting off the bus at one stop before your actual work destination, and then get off the bus one stop early when returning home.”
How to eliminate the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle? Test
During the study, researchers analyzed information from datasets of nearly 12,000 people aged 50 and over from Norway, Sweden and the United States. During the study, participants wore a motion-sensing device on their hips for at least 4 days (10 hours each day). All people included in the study were followed for at least 2 years.
They found that half of the participants spent about 10 and a half hours or more a day sitting. Over the five years, 805 people died, or 17 percent of the study participants. Of these, 357 (or 6 percent) spent less than 10 and a half hours a day sitting. In turn, 448 spent more than 10 and a half hours a day.
More exercise reduces the risk of premature death
Researchers estimated that sitting for more than 12 hours a day was associated with a 38 percent increased risk of death compared to people who sat for just eight hours a day. However, this only applied to those who spent less than 22 minutes a day engaging in moderate or vigorous physical activity.
Scientists also found that as activity increases, the risk of premature death (from any cause) decreases. Taking an extra 10 minutes a day to exercise would translate into a 15 percent lower risk of death for people who spent less than 10 and a half hours sitting. In turn, in the case of people who spend more than 10 and a half hours in a sitting position every day, it will be as much as 35 percent.