A major Lancet study that looked at over 1,000,000 adults found that sitting at a desk for around 8 hours a day can increase your chances of premature death by a frightening 60%.
Scientists have observed that sedentary lifestyles can pose as much of a threat as smoking, and could be causing more deaths than obesity.
In the study they could not specifically point out why being sedentary for extended periods of time was so damaging. However they feel that general movement assisted the body’s metabolism, whereas doing nothing had detrimental effects to the hormone leptin, which regulates energy balance.
Thankfully, dangerous as this sedentary lifestyle is, it is easy to combat. The study found that the mortality rate of those that sat for 8 hours a day and exercised less than 5 minutes exercise a day was 9.9%. However, when people who sat for 8 hours a day managed an hour’s exercise the mortality rate dropped to 6.2%.
This shows a direct, inverse correlation between exercise and mortality rates.
It is now being recommended that for every hour you are seated you should do five minutes exercise. The lead scientist of the study, Professor Ulf Ekelund, stresses that exercise does not mean dragging yourself to the gym every night. A brisk walk, with speeds of over 3 miles an hour, was enough to counteract the damage done.
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