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Do You Know How Much Exercise You Need to’ Offset’ a Day of Sitting? Scientists Calculated



Do You Know How Much Exercise You Need to' Offset' a Day of Sitting Scientists Calculated

We are aware that sitting for extended periods of time is bad for our health, but how much exercise is necessary to offset these negative effects?

According to research, working up a sweat for 30 to 40 minutes each day should be sufficient.

The research indicates that 10 hours of sitting still should be balanced out with up to 40 minutes of “moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity” per day; however, any amount of exercise, or even just standing up, helps to some extent.

This is based on a meta-analysis study that was published in 2020 and examined nine earlier studies that included 44,370 participants wearing fitness trackers in four different countries.

According to the analysis, the longer a person leads a sedentary lifestyle, the lower their chance of dying from moderate-to-intense physical activity.

“In active individuals doing about 30-40 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity, the association between high sedentary time and risk of death is not significantly different from those with low amounts of sedentary time,” the researchers explained in their paper.

To put it another way, engaging in moderately intense activities like cycling, brisk walking, or gardening can reduce your chance of dying sooner to what it would be if you weren’t spending so much time sitting around. In fact, this relationship has been shown in data gathered from thousands of people.

This type of meta-analysis necessitates complex dot-joining between various studies with distinct subjects, durations, and circumstances; however, the advantage of this specific study is that it was based on comparatively objective wearable data, rather than participant self-reported data.

The study was released at the same time as the 2020 Global Guidelines on Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior, which were developed by 40 scientists from six continents and published by the World Health Organization. The study and the updated recommendations were also published in a special edition of the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BHSM).

Emmanuel Stamatakis, an Australian researcher on physical activity and population health at the University of Sydney, stated that “as these guidelines emphasize, all physical activity counts, and any amount of it is better than none.”

“People can still protect their health and offset the harmful effects of physical inactivity.”

The 2020 WHO guidelines, which suggest 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75–150 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity every week to combat sedentary behavior, are largely supported by fitness tracker-based research.

Some suggestions for becoming more active include taking the stairs rather than the elevator, playing with kids and pets, practicing yoga or dancing, doing housework, walking, and cycling. The researchers advise starting small if you are unable to commit to the recommended 30 to 40 minutes of activity each day.

Although it can be challenging to make recommendations for people of all ages and body types, the 40-minute activity window is consistent with earlier studies. We should gain more knowledge about how to maintain our health even when we must work long hours at a desk as more data becomes available.

“Although the new guidelines reflect the best available science, there are still some gaps in our knowledge,” stated Stamatakis.

“We are still not clear, for example, where exactly the bar for ‘too much sitting’ is. But this is a fast-paced field of research, and we will hopefully have answers in a few years’ time.”

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