People who sit for more than 11 hours a day have a 40% increase in the risk of death compared to people who sit for less than 4 hours a day

Feeling pretty good, 20 minute walk to work and a 30 hour workout at the gym – awesome you have hit your daily exercise amount and you don’t even smoke!!

But did you know that meeting the daily amount of recommended exercise doesn’t cancel out the negative effects of sitting?Health Benefits of Standing up more

And the truth is many of us don’t realise how long we are really sitting for and like the old saying ‘if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it’.

The easy to use sitting-time calculator gives you a quick indication, (and in most cases a big surprise) of how long you are sitting for. Combined with the Calorie-burn calculator it is easy to see why many of us face the slow, gradual weight gain and associated decline in health and well-being and yet still find ourselves asking ‘how did that happen’?

 

There is no doubt that the research is alarming, a recent study by the Australian National University and Sydney University followed 200,000 people aged 45 and over. During the 3 year period 5000 people in the study died and 7% of the deaths were attributed to prolonged sitting – yep, that’s enough to get you back on your feet!!

The statistics show that people who sit for more than 11 hours a day have a 40% increase in the risk of death compared to people who sit for less than 4 hours a day. You might think to yourself ‘no way do I sit for that long’, but don’t just guess, do the calculation, it might just save your life.

If you hate exercise don’t be too alarmed, research shows it is not the intensity of movement but the movement itself that is most important.

Why is prolonged sitting so incredibly bad for us?

As explained in the Catalyst report above, when we sit there are no muscle contractions and this is important because muscle contractions helps the body to efficiently clear blood sugar and blood fat levels.

For those of us who sit for long periods of time our blood sugar levels remain elevated for hours and elevated glucose levels can lead to heart disease, cancer and a number of other negative health conditions.

So you have a job that is desk based what can you do?

Park your car further away from your destination;
Leave your desk at lunch time and enjoy a short walk outside;
Set the alarm on your computer/phone and move every 20 to 30 minutes;
Organise walking meetings;
Deliver a message rather than emailing;
and of course, select a sit-to-stand desk.

For further information, check out the core recommendations for office workers.