Every day millions of people go to their jobs and sit in front of their desks for 8 hours or more. It has been proven that sitting for extensive periods of time is extremely bad for our health and contributes to the increased risk of death. However, a new research from University of Queensland showed that one hour of physical activity a day can offset this risk.
Results of the research can be described very shortly. People who sit for longer periods of time but are physically active face lower risk of death than those, who sit less, but are not as active physically. This means that physical activity is the key to alleviate health risks of prolonged work in the office. Scientists say that it does not take much – one hour a day is enough to alleviate the risks associated with sitting for eight hours a day.
In order to gain this knowledge, scientists analysed data from more than one million people. They found that the greatest risk of death was for those people, who were not active and were sitting for long periods of time. These findings are important, because they support Australian physical activity and sedentary behaviour guidelines, which state that adult people should accumulate between 30 and 60 minutes of physical activity per day. However, only a small portion of the people included in the study were as active as needed.
Interestingly, study also revealed that watching TV can also be associated with an increased risk of death and this risk can also be avoided by being more physically active. Wendy Brown, one of the authors of the study, said: “We stress this is not because of a causal link between watching TV and an increased risk of death. There could be a number of factors which contribute, such as long hours watching TV being a marker of a generally unhealthier lifestyle, or snacking while watching TV”.
It is extremely important for people to be more physically active. Our modern lifestyle revolves around sitting and watching at the screens and it does not make much of a difference if we are staring at a computer at work or at the TV at our own living rooms. Just one hour of daily exercise can dramatically improve our health and reduce the risk of death associated with sitting for long periods of time.