Constant sitting shortens our life expectancy, a little movement reduces the effect
It should be common knowledge that too little exercise is not good for our health. For this reason, it is important not to sit all day. However, for professional reasons there is no way for some people to be more active during the day. For example, many office workers sit all their working hours. This constant inactivity leads to an increased risk of dying earlier. Researchers have now found that one hour of exercise a day cancels this negative effect.
If people work more than eight hours a day sitting, this increases their likelihood of dying earlier in their lives. Scientists from the internationally recognized Cambridge University, however, have now found that an hour of moderate physical activity cancels this effect. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "The Lancet".
Study examines over a million subjects
So-called lack of exercise harms our body. Physicians have now analyzed data from more than a million men and women to determine how eight hours of sedentary work affects our health and whether possible negative effects can be compensated for by one hour of exercise.
Many inactive people die from heart disease or cancer
It was clear to see that many thousands of office workers were up to 60 percent more likely to die prematurely compared to more active people, the researchers report. An inactive lifestyle can lead to heart disease and cancer. These two diseases are the most likely cause of death for inactive people, the scientists say.
Office workers should take a little break every hour to exercise
The doctors found that the increased risk of illness can be remedied by at least one hour of moderate activity. A brisk walk or a short bike ride can extend our lives. For this reason, the scientists are demanding that employers should give their employees short breaks. In this, the employees would have the opportunity to move. Even the occasional trip to the coffee machine or water dispenser could reduce the damage caused by daily inactivity, the authors explain.
Climb stairs and often do without your car
If you are sitting in the office all day, you should take a break of about five minutes every hour. During this time, for example, move to the printer, the coffee machine or climb some stairs, says Prof. Ekelund from the University of Cambridge. A movement study in Germany has only recently found that the Germans are clearly not moving enough. Incorporate more physical activity into your everyday life. For example, do without your car and walk more often.
Exercise at least an hour a day
Just one hour of physical activity a day is enough to compensate for the negative effects of inactivity and sitting for hours, says lead scientist Professor Ulf Ekelund from the University of Cambridge. There is no need to go to gyms or exercise every day to protect your health. It is enough to take a quick walk in the morning or during the lunch break. You can split your activities into different times of the day, but should total at least one hour of exercise a day, the professor adds.
Some subjects were only active for five minutes a day
Most of the participants in the study were over 45 years of age. They came from the United States, Western Europe and Australia. The most active people spent around 60 to 75 minutes a day with moderate activity, the scientists explain. At the other end of the scale, subjects were only active for five minutes or less. The researchers compared the activity levels with the death rates of the subjects over a period of up to 18 years.
Long television also harms our health
A previous study had shown that three hours of television a day was enough to increase the risk of premature death. This effect was observed in all subjects, with the exception of the most active participants in the study, the doctors say. Here too, sufficient exercise was apparently able to compensate for the negative effect. (as)