One hour of exercise needed a day to counteract sitting


flickr photo by AstridWestvang shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

A recent study by researchers at Cambridge University has found that an hour of exercise is necessary to counteract the health effects of sitting all day.

Low activity levels have been shown to be detrimental to health since a 1953 study in to bus drivers showing that bus drivers were at greater risk of heart disease than conductors.

According to the study, 5 million people per year die globally as a result of lack of activity.

Studies in high income countries has found that adults spend the most part of their day sitting down. Office jobs, commuting by car and sitting to watch TV in the evening. 

Researchers found that 60 minutes a day of moderate exercise can counteract the effects of prolonged sitting. However, only one in four of people were found to meet this daily activity.

Those who were physically inactive were found to be as much as 29% at risk of early death.

Professor Ulf Ekelund from the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge:

“For many people who commute to work and have office-based jobs, there is no way to escape sitting for prolonged periods of time. For these people in particular, we cannot stress enough the importance of getting exercise, whether it’s getting out for a walk at lunchtime, going for a run in the morning or cycling to work. An hour of physical activity per day is the ideal, but if this is unmanageable, then at least doing some exercise each day can help reduce the risk.”

An hour of moderate exercise a day enough to counter health risks from prolonged sitting.