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The risk of sitting too much

Don’t just sit there

With so many advances in technology, our lifestyles are changing, and as a result, we’re spending a lot more time sitting down – also called ‘being sedentary’ – at home, at work and while travelling.

When you think about our daily routine, once we get up in the morning, we: sit down to have breakfast, sit down in the car on the way to work, sit down at work all day, drive home, eat dinner sitting down, and then sit on the couch to watch tv or surf the internet. That’s a lot of sitting down.

Why is this a problem?

Research shows that time spent sitting can lead to:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Unhealthy blood-sugar levels and type-2 diabetes
  • A greater chance of heart disease
  • Other risk factors of poor health, being overweight or obese.

In fact, it’s been shown that if we watch less than two hours of television a day, we can reduce the likelihood of developing these risk factors listed above.

But I go to the gym

Research shows that even if you are “physically active” (which means you do 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week), you can then further increase your health benefits by sitting less during the day.

But I’m pretty active, aren’t I?

Are you really? Let’s say you sleep eight hours per day, the remaining 16 hours are typically filled with domestic and work duties.

Have a look at this example.

  • 7.00 am exercise: 45 minutes
  • drive to work: 45 minutes
  • work on computer: 4 hours
  • eat lunch: 45 minutes
  • work on computer: 4 hours
  • drive home: 45 minutes
  • eat dinner: 30 minutes
  • watch tv/read/computer: 3 hours
  • 11.00 pm bed.

Total time sitting: 13 hrs 45 mins.

Breaking it up and sitting less

Research suggests that no matter what your total sitting time is, regular interruptions from sitting (even just by standing up) may help to reduce your risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.

Sitting at a desk or driving can be a large part of many peoples work routine. So here are some simple ideas of how you can sit less and move more throughout the day.

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