Let’s be honest- we’ve all become a little too comfortable with sitting throughout the day.
The 9-5 desk job has been a reality ever since they graduated from college for most people. We’ve been so used to it that now we don’t even realize how much time we spend sitting and discard thoughts of ‘bad health’ by throwing the classic phrase- “gotta do it for work.”
Believe it or not, the situation has become much worse now.
Before, at least the morning walks from the subway, afternoon lunches, or even walks to a colleague’s cubicles, was incorporating some sort of exercise into our daily routine. However, thanks to a pandemic that refuses to cease, all the exercise we get are walking from one end of our apartment to another.
And, you don’t need us to tell you that’s nowhere near enough.
Health Consequences of Physical Quietude
This probably won’t come as a surprise but, most epidemiological studies exhibit strong links between mortality rates and sitting. To simplify it further, these studies claim that active people are more likely to live long, healthy lives, while the classic couch potato should be anticipating premature mortality.
Even so, the question arises- how active is a person supposed to be to diminish these adverse health consequences? The standard recommendation for an average person is 30 minutes of exercise every day. But, after spending 8 hours in a chair, is that enough?
How Much Exercise Does It Take to Mitigate Health Risks?
A study published in 2016 determined that 30 minutes of exercise is insufficient for mitigating the health risks that come with 8 hours of sitting. Instead, the study recommended moderate exercise for 60-75 minutes if people wished to shed off the undesirable effects of sitting.
However, the drawback of this study is that people were expected to respond based on their memory. As it is, we are terrible narrators of our lives and might not relay events as accurately as they occurred. The findings of this study, hence, were rendered unreliable.
The latest study, brought to light only two weeks ago by the British Journal of Sports Medicine, aimed to mirror the earlier research but this time, with subjects who wore activity tracking monitors, which would provide more accurate data.
Researchers ended up with data from 9 different studies, and consequently, gained a subject pool of 50,000 middle-aged or older men and women from Europe and the United States.
What Were the Findings?
After dividing the subject group into three parts, based on how much each individual sat or walked, scientists concluded that having little to no physical activity is a sure-fire way of inviting early death. In this category, men and women were 260 percent more likely to have a premature death.
The second tier, which consisted of people who exercised for an average of 11 minutes a day, exhibited significantly less likelihood of premature mortality. These scientists concluded the sweet spot lands at 35 minutes a day of brisk walking or other moderate activity.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to health and well-being, some things just shouldn’t be overlooked- and the importance of daily exercise is one of them. Granted, lives can be very busy nowadays, but if you can’t take out 11-35 minutes daily for self-care, what’s the point of the hustle?