Study shows that sitting for long periods of time is bad for your health, but it is easy to offset this effect

The scientific group has identified for many years that sitting can enhance your danger of continual ailments resembling diabetes, coronary heart illness, and sure forms of cancers. Decreasing danger is straightforward, says a brand new examine. (Mac Duong Vu, Alamy)

Estimated studying time: 5-6 minutes

ATLANTA – Positive, you’ve got heard concerning the risks of sitting all day, however in most jobs there is not a lot you are able to do about it, proper?

Not in accordance with a brand new examine that seemed on the results of extended sitting.

5 minutes of sunshine strolling each half hour may also help mitigate among the elevated dangers that include sitting for lengthy intervals of the day, in accordance with the examine, printed Thursday within the Journal of the American School of Sports activities Medication.

The scientific group has identified for many years that sitting can enhance the danger of continual ailments resembling diabetes, coronary heart illness and sure forms of most cancers, mentioned Keith Diaz, lead writer of the examine and assistant professor of behavioral medication at Columbia College Medical Heart. However till now there have been no clear tips about how lengthy you possibly can sit and the way typically it is best to transfer.

“We have identified for a couple of decade or in order that sitting will increase your danger of most continual ailments and will increase your danger of untimely dying,” mentioned Diaz, who can be director of the Train Testing Lab on the college’s Heart for Cardiovascular Well being. “Identical to how a lot fruit and greens they need to eat and the way a lot train they need to get, we have to give (individuals) particular steerage on how one can fight the harms of sitting.”

Strolling might be as mild as 1.9 mph, Diaz mentioned, which is slower than most individuals stroll usually. The purpose is simply to interrupt up the sitting with some motion.

A number of well being indicators have been measured for various combos of sitting and strolling intervals for this examine. Matthew mentioned that though the pattern dimension was small, the examine was rigorous with sturdy methodology Bowman, director of the Arizona State College School of Well being Options. Bowman was not concerned within the examine.

Scientists do not but know why sitting is so dangerous, however a working concept is that muscle tissue are necessary in regulating issues like blood sugar and levels of cholesterol. However whenever you sit for a very long time, your muscle tissue do not have an opportunity to contract and work optimally, Diaz mentioned.

Does 5 minutes each half hour nonetheless look like a stretch? Diaz mentioned that even just a few “snacks” like strolling for one minute each hour have been proven to decrease blood strain in examine individuals by “a major quantity.”

The entire examine individuals have been usually wholesome adults, Bowman mentioned, which implies these with continual sicknesses may even see a larger profit.

Why ought to your boss give the go-ahead for that

Even with clearer tips, commuting often can appear out of attain if the workplace tradition would not put it on the market.

“There are numerous of us who lead an inactive or sedentary life-style or have sedentary jobs,” Diaz mentioned. “There are these social norms the place when you’re out of your workplace, individuals assume you are not working.”

Diaz works to persuade employers of the significance of commuting throughout the workday—not only for one’s well being, but in addition for the underside line.

“Sitting is an occupational hazard, and a wholesome worker is a extra productive worker,” he mentioned.


Sitting is an occupational hazard and a wholesome worker is a extra productive worker.

— Keith Diaz, lead examine writer


The group discovered that there have been extra than simply bodily well being advantages for the individuals who broke their squats. Diaz mentioned in addition they discovered it reduces fatigue and improves temper.

“Simply sitting at your desk and grinding for 8 hours may not really be that nice when you’re solely involved with the underside line when it comes to your work productiveness,” he added.

And whereas standing desks are in style, they is probably not the reply.

“I am unsure there’s actually robust scientific proof that standing is de facto higher than sitting,” Diaz mentioned. “I am afraid individuals have this false feeling that they are wholesome as a result of they’re utilizing this desk, and so they might not really be significantly better.”

Easy methods to transfer extra at work

What Diaz actually desires individuals to remove from analysis is that getting sufficient motion is achievable.

Shifting does not imply leaving your desk if it is not in your office tradition, mentioned CNN health contributor Dana Santas, a mind-body coach for skilled athletes.

The newest analysis has seemed solely on the effectiveness of strolling, however Santas mentioned there are different methods to get your muscle tissue transferring often.

“You possibly can merely do a squat by getting up, gently squatting, then coming again to the appropriate and repeating that motion again and again,” Santa mentioned through electronic mail.

When you have the chance to get more room, Santas wish to suggest a dance break.

“Since most songs common at the least 3 minutes, you possibly can dance away from the adverse influence of extreme sitting. And as a bonus – dancing to your favourite tunes will even increase your temper!” She mentioned.

For individuals with restricted mobility or who use wheelchairs, there are nonetheless extra accessible methods to separate sitting instances.

Santas mentioned that everybody ought to attain out and transfer their arms in all instructions. She added that anybody in a wheelchair can do stretches, aspect bends and twisting workouts from a chair.

Even when you possibly can’t transfer your decrease physique and truly do an energetic sitting Taking deep breaths utilizing your diaphragm and transferring your ribsGood on your posture and your well being basically.

“The general message is to maneuver in as some ways as doable primarily based in your capabilities,” Bowman mentioned.

Diaz added that the motion bar would not must be excessive. “To the extent which you could separate your sitting with some breaks from transferring, you possibly can nonetheless obtain some advantages,” he mentioned.

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