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How to Offset the Time You Spend Sitting

couple walking in autumn woods

Have you ever noticed how much time you spend sitting?

A typical day for many Americans goes something like this:

After waking up and doing a morning routine, sit in the car to drive to work. Then sit in front of a computer screen all day before sitting in the car to drive home from work. Sit down for dinner, then sit in front of the television or personal computer until lights out. Repeat.

That’s a LOT of sitting!

Research About the Time You Spend Sitting

A few years ago, sitting got slapped with the “just as bad as smoking cigarettes” rep. Whether that’s actually accurate, it’s compelling motivation to get off the couch and move your body for your health.

Now a new study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine makes the connection clear between walking, sitting, and longevity.

“Higher sedentary time is associated with higher mortality in less active individuals,” researchers wrote.

Thirty-five minutes a day of brisk walking or other moderate activity helped the most in reducing premature death, they wrote.

It’s just one study, of course. But there is ample research about the hazards of sedentary lifestyles, which is basically the same as too much sitting.

How to Combat Too Much Sitting

International authorities recommend 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, plus two sessions of strength training at a minimum.

And walking is often addressed as a nice start, better than nothing for sedentary people, especially older people, to get started on a healthier path.

Activity trackers such as Fitbit or Apple Watch can help by giving little reminders every hour to get up and move for a few minutes.

But it’s not enough. I also recommend more vigorous exercise including resistance training and cardio workouts for most people, including those over 50.  A combination of both is best.

Contact me to discuss the details that are right for you individually, based on your goals, lifestyle and possible limitations.

But believe this study at heart: Exercise means a longer, healthier life, even when we spend too much time sitting.

At any age. Even yours.

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