Want an easy way to lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and premature death? Stand up. In a powerful new review study that loudly echoes what previous studies have shown – simply taking a stand may be one of the most life-changing and life-saving of all simple maneuvers. This new analysis, which combined the data from a number of former studies, found that despite how much you exercise, prolonged sitting significantly increases your risk for our leading chronic diseases and an earlier death. The scientists did note that while regular exercise could not fully compensate for the bodily damage that occurs during too much sitting, those at the greatest risks of the perils of sedentarism were those who got little or no exercise.
Prolonged sitting is loosely defined as sitting more than 7-8 hours a day. Sadly, over half of our population does just this with watching TV, commuting, and sitting while at work comprising the three top contributors. (Annals of Internal Medicine, 2015 DOI: 10.7326/M14-1651)
Bottom line – to achieve and maintain optimal health, you must engage in regular physical activity/exercise and avoid prolonged sitting. For best results, strive to limit your sitting to less than four hours a day. For times that prolonged sitting is unavoidable, be sure to get up and move around, or at least stand up for 2-5 minutes every hour.
Ideas for incorporating movement into your day:
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