If you regularly sit for prolonged periods of time than you could be risking an early death. That’s what recent findings published in the Lancet have highlighted. The study, which was published to coincide with the Olympics, revealed that a worrying 5.3 million premature deaths a year are linked to inactivity. Smoking is linked to 5.1 million. But while the media constantly warns us about the many lifestyle habits that put our health at risk, the modern desk-bound lifestyle is less frequently mentioned – even though many of us sit down for more than 8 hours a day, five days a week!
Our Fareham chiropractor warns that many office workers risk falling into the trap of blaming the constraints of their jobs on their sedentary lifestyles, often deeming prolonged periods of sitting as a necessity to carry out their desk-based duties. But this recent study suggests that desk work is no excuse for becoming unhealthy as an hour’s brisk exercise every day can actually offset the health risks of living a sedentary lifestyle. The results of the study showed that people who sat for eight hours a day, but still engaged in regular physical exercise, had a far lower risk of early death compared with people who sat for fewer hours a day, but were not physically active.
With inactivity linked to serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, it’s crucially important that all office workers (particularly those who don’t engage in regular physical activity) make a focused effort to incorporate some form of exercise into their daily schedule. If an hour’s exercise every day seems unrealistic, our chiropractor recommends undertaking manageable, small pieces of physical activity throughout the day. Simple changes such as leaving the house earlier and getting off the bus a stop sooner, parking further away from the office or climbing the stairs instead of taking the lift can help to reduce the health risks associated with inactivity. Even setting workplace challenges and performing fun team exercises during lunch breaks can make positive health improvements. It’s surprising how small fragments of exercise add up! It’s all about reducing the amount of time you engage in sedentary behaviour and increasing the amount of physical activity you do.
Watching TV for more than three hours a day is also associated with an increased risk of early death, but again, those who exercise are at a significantly reduced risk.
“Those who don’t have time for exercise will eventually have to make time for illness”. Maybe that’s a quote we should all pay more attention to…
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