Sunday, April 14, 2024

People who spend most of their time sitting at desks should do more physical activity to offset the negative effects on their health, according to a recent study

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Feeling tired of sitting at your desk all day? Well, it turns out that it’s not just boring – it’s bad for your health too, according to a new study I found.

The study says that if you spend most of your time sitting at work, you have a 16% higher chance of dying from anything and a 34% higher chance of dying from heart problems. To lower this risk, the researchers suggest adding 15 to 30 minutes of physical activity each day.

Now, I’m thinking about what this means for people like us who spend a lot of time sitting. What can we do to stay healthy? Should we move a little bit every day, or is it better to save up all our activity for the weekends? And what about those who already take medicine for obesity, diabetes, and other ongoing health issues – what’s the best plan for them?

I asked a health expert from CNN, Dr. Leana Wen, about these findings. She’s not surprised by the study but says it’s a big deal and should make us take action.

For a long time, we’ve known that sitting for too long is bad for our health. It can lead to problems like obesity, diabetes, and heart issues. Studies even show that doing a little bit of light activity every now and then can help. In fact, a study from 2023 found that just five minutes of light activity every 30 minutes can reduce blood sugar spikes by almost 60%. Even one minute of exercise every half-hour can lower blood pressure.

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People in a study didn’t do intense exercises; they just walked slowly on a treadmill at a speed slower than usual. Another study in 2023 found that replacing 30 minutes of sitting with light activities like walking improved things like body mass index and cholesterol levels. Though intense exercise is better, even short periods of light activity make a difference.

A recent study, with over 480,000 participants over almost 13 years, found a significant impact on overall and cardiovascular mortality. They considered factors like age, sex, education, smoking, drinking, and body mass index. This is notable because it’s like finding a medicine that greatly reduces the risk of dying from heart disease.

Think of it this way: sitting for too long can be like having a habit that increases your chance of a heart attack or stroke. Imagine if there was a pill to reduce this risk – people would love it! That’s why it’s important to break up long periods of sitting.

CNN asked about reducing health risks for desk workers. The CDC suggests 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, which could be around 30 minutes a day, five times a week. Simple changes, like walking more or going to the gym more often, can help. Even short breaks for light activity at work, like stretching or walking, make a big difference. These are called “exercise snacks,” and they can be as simple as standing up every 30 minutes, doing some stretches, or taking short walks.

 

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