What if i was to tell you sitting on your arse could be killing you. From a recent study just taken about the health risks involved in leading a sedentary lifestyle, next time you sit down to watch TV all night you might want to rethink your nightly activities…
How much time per day do you devote to physical activity on a regular basis? Did you know that adults should spend at least 30 minutes a day on doing physical activity? Well they should if they care about their health.
When you read this column, you will probably be sitting , possibly, at your desk. In that case, you won’t be standing up and walking around, and the consequences are that you might be taking years off your life, just by sitting!
A study published a few days ago suggests long periods spent sitting contributed to 70,000 deaths in 2016 in the UK, and costs the NHS £700 million a year. You can read more about this research from this Daily Mail article.
This report from the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health says that a sedentary lifestyle has been linked to 70,000 deaths per year.
A sedentary lifestyle is a type of lifestyle involving little or no physical activity. A person living a sedentary lifestyle is often sitting or lying down while engaged in an activity like reading, socializing, watching television, playing video games, or using a mobile phone/computer for much of the day. Does that describe how it is for you?
It really is just giving us a health warning. Sitting can be bad for your health. Alas more and more people seem to have sedentary lifestyle then ever before. This is despite the amount of publicity promoting the health benefits of physical activity.
I have two doctors, my left leg and my right.G.M. Trevelyan
Research shows that many of you spend nine hours a day or more sitting and that’s not just at work — as your leisure time is often dominated by screen use whether that’s slouched in front of the TV or surfing the net on a computer or tablet. This is undoubtedly putting your health at risk.
I was working out in the gym a few mornings ago and got chatting to a fella on the next bench. I see him in there most days pushing himself. He has Parkinson’s, which you can only tell by a slight shaking in his left arm. He knows how important it is for him to exercise on a regular basis to ensure he keeps the effects of Parkinson’s in check. We both understand the importance of using our bodies, pushing them to the limits.
We already knew that spending large parts of the day sitting down increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, cancer and death and is a burden on health services. It also is very much one of the major causers of the obesity epidemic. All simply because people don’t get enough physical activity.
The researchers say results suggest that 11.6% of all deaths were associated with sedentary behaviour and that 69,276 deaths might have been avoided in 2016 if sedentary behaviour was eliminated in the UK.
So the message is clear. Too many people spend their leisure time being sedentary and in the workplace sitting for hours on end. The cost is that this can end up killing you.
This isn’t new in truth. The link between illness and sitting first emerged in the 1950s, when researchers found London bus drivers were twice as likely to have heart attacks as their bus conductor colleagues.
It is essential that you get moving. to stave off the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, it is important to move more every day.
It doesn’t have to mean major lifestyle changes. All you have to do is begin building physical activity into your life on a daily basis.
By lifestyle changes I am talking about a variety of small things you can do, which together will add up to you being far more physically active.
- Avoid long periods sittingin front of a TV or computer
- Stand up and move during TV advert breaks or at least for 10 minutes every hour when working at a desk
- Walk up and down the stairs instead of taking the elevator
- Walk around while talking on the phone
- Limit the amount of time you spend watching TV
- Have walk-and-talk meetings
- For short distances, choose walking over using your car
- Take your dog out for longer walks, get a dog if you haven’t got one.
- Get a walking buddy or join a community-based activity, such as dance classes and walking groups
- Walk or ride your bike to work
- Get off a bus stop further from your destination
- Take up gardening, mow the lawn, rake the yard, and water your plants!
- Take up active play with the children or grandchildren
Walking gets the feet moving, the blood moving, the mind moving. And movement is life.Terri Guillemets
For those of you willing to step it up and really make sure you get yourself healthy through physical activity, focus on adding just 30 minutes of extra activity into your day, five days a week. Get yourself a pedometer (a device that counts the number of steps you take). Did you know that 10,000 steps a day is equivalent to half an hour of walking? Those 30 minutes would be the best 30 minutes you could spend for your health. Walking 10,000 steps a day is the ideal goal to set for improving health and reducing the health risks caused by inactivity according to the World Health Organization.
If you take anything from today’s article please ensure you sit down less throughout the day, including at work, and try to increase your daily physical activity.
Whatever age you are, physical activity is the best way to look after our physical and mental health, Hey it could add years to your life.
I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least — and it is commonly more than that — sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements.Henry David Thoreau