22 minutes of exercise per day ‘can offset negative impact of sitting down’ | Western Telegraph
In today’s fast-paced world, many of us find ourselves bound to our desks for prolonged periods, battling the sedentary lifestyle that comes with it. The consequences of sitting for 10 or more hours a day are known to be dire, often leading to early mortality. However, recent research, published on October 24 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, provides a ray of hope for desk warriors everywhere. It suggests that as little as 20 to 25 minutes of daily exercise can significantly mitigate these health risks.
This groundbreaking study was a collaborative effort involving researchers from esteemed institutions, including the University of Tromsø in Norway and Aarhus University in Denmark. To draw their conclusions, they meticulously analyzed data from 12,000 adults aged 50 and above in Norway and Sweden. Their primary objective was to explore whether regular exercise could make a difference in an otherwise sedentary life.
Their findings were quite remarkable. Individuals who habitually spent more than 12 hours a day sitting had a staggering 38% higher chance of early mortality. However, this grim statistic was offset if they managed to incorporate at least 22 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity into their daily routines. Activities like brisk walking, light hiking, biking, and even household chores contributed to this positive effect.
These findings align with an ever-growing body of evidence that emphasizes the potential benefits of brief, heart-pumping exercise in counteracting the severe health risks associated with prolonged sitting. Moreover, the researchers observed a direct correlation between increased exercise time and a reduced risk of premature death. This remained true, regardless of the number of hours people spent sitting.
Exercise, it seems, is a potent elixir for health. It bestows benefits such as an improved mood, increased energy, and a lower risk of illnesses like heart disease and cancer. Notably, for those with a more sedentary lifestyle, exercise provided more substantial health benefits. An extra 10 minutes of daily exercise translated to a 15% lower risk of death for individuals sitting less than 10 hours a day. However, for those who were extremely sedentary, sitting for at least 10 and a half hours a day, the same 10 minutes of exercise correlated with an impressive 35% lower risk of early mortality.
Past research also substantiates the idea that even small doses of exercise can yield substantial benefits. An earlier study from February revealed that as little as 11 minutes of exercise per day was associated with a lower risk of early death.
It’s worth noting that not all exercise has to be intense. Moderate activities that elevate the heart rate but allow for conversation, such as brisk walks, bike rides, or playing with kids or pets, can be incredibly beneficial. Vigorous activities like hiking, taking the stairs, or handling heavy groceries offer a more intense workout, further enhancing the advantages of short bursts of exercise.
Even low-intensity exercises like walking can make a significant difference. The latest study showed that, for those who sat more than 12 hours a day, even light activity could reduce the risk of early mortality.
If you currently lead a sedentary lifestyle, it’s never too late to start taking steps (literally) towards a healthier future. Recent research suggests that simply walking can play a pivotal role in preventing chronic illnesses. Even adding as few as 500 extra steps to your daily routine can kickstart the journey towards better health. So, lace up your walking shoes, and embark on a 22-minute stroll each day—it might just be the remedy you need to counteract the perils of prolonged sitting.
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