Most people know that living a healthy lifestyle includes exercise and that having a sedentary lifestyle is not good. A recent research study from Simon Fraser University has again proven that being inactive is harmful to your health. They conducted an international study following more than 100,000 participants in 21 countries around the world for an average of eleven years. It was found that people who sit for six to eight hours a day were at a 12% – 13% increased risk of early death and heart disease. People who sit for greater than eight hours a day have an increased risk of early death and heart disease by 20%.3
The participants that sat the most and were the least physically active had a 50% increased risk of death and cardiovascular disease. The people who sat more than four hours a day that replaced 30 minutes of sitting with exercise, reduced their risk by 2%. This shows that even just incorporating 30 minutes a day of exercise can improve your health.3
According to one of the researchers, Dr. Scott Lear, “The overarching message here is to minimize how much you sit…If you must sit, getting in more exercise during other times of the day will offset that risk…Our study found that a combination of sitting and inactivity accounted for 8.8% of all deaths…It’s a global problem that has a remarkably simple fix.”3
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week and two days of muscle strengthening activities.2 Exercise provides immediate and long-term benefits. Immediate benefits include improving quality of sleep, reducing anxiety, and reducing blood pressure. Long-term benefits of exercise include chronic disease prevention, reducing the risk of weight gain, improving bone strength, and better coordination.1
Incorporating more movement into your day does not have to be a task. You can make it fun by doing activities you like or make it productive by multi-tasking. If you enjoy dancing, sign up for dance classes. If you need to catch up with your friends or family, invite them to take a walk with you or call them while you go for a walk. The key is that people should be moving more and sitting less throughout the day.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, November 1). Health benefits of physical activity for adults. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved June 16, 2022
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, June 2). How much physical activity do adults need? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved June 16, 2022
- Trade the chair for Fresh Air-study weighs in on link between sitting time and cardio health. SFU News – Simon Fraser University. (n.d.). Retrieved June 16, 2022