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Exercise Counteracts Prolonged Sitting Health Risks

the health risks
the health risks

Prolonged sitting can have adverse effects on health, but a recent study suggests that incorporating just a few minutes of exercise can mitigate the harm caused by extended periods of sitting. The research, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, indicates that engaging in 22 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity can help counter the negative health impacts of prolonged sitting. This new finding contradicts earlier research that suggested regular exercise couldn't entirely offset the detrimental effects of sitting for extended periods. In 2017, a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine revealed that while exercising regularly could reduce some of the harm associated with prolonged sitting, it couldn't eliminate those effects entirely.

The lead author of the recent study, Edvard Sagelv, a researcher at the Arctic University of Norway, recommends 150 minutes of physical activity each week to counteract the health risks of sitting for extended periods. Sagelv explained that activities causing slightly heavier breathing, such as brisk walking, gardening, or walking uphill, are sufficient to achieve this. He simplified the recommendation, noting that just 20 minutes of such activity each day, which could involve taking two 10-minute brisk walks or incorporating physical activity into daily routines, can help mitigate the adverse effects of prolonged sitting.

The study analyzed data from 12,000 individuals in Sweden, Norway, and the US over a two-year period. Participants wore movement detection devices on their hips for at least four days, recording their activity during ten hours daily. Over the course of approximately five years, 805 participants passed away. Among those who died, 353 had spent less than 10.5 hours sitting, while 448 had averaged 10.5 hours or more. The research showed that individuals sitting for over 12 hours daily had a 38% higher risk of death compared to those who sat for 8 hours, but this increased risk was only applicable to those who incorporated a few minutes of exercise into their daily routines.

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By- Sahiba Suri


By: Sahiba Suri