In our society today much of our activities are based around sitting and technology. Being in front of a computer or TV or going to events that involve sitting. Part of enjoying life is being able to move and do things.
Stand up and move around at work if you find yourself sitting to long. When it comes to exercise as we get older the most important activity to do is lifting weights. We lose muscle as we age and we can’t avoid that.
Lifting weights slow down the muscle loss. Since muscles move bones we need muscle have an active life rather than a sedentary life.
An ongoing debate
While experts agree that prolong sitting is a serious health hazard, they can’t reach a consensus when it comes to whether the recommended guidelines of 150 minutes a week of physical activity can counteract the health hazards of long periods of sitting.
A 2015 Canadian review of 41 studies published in the Annals of Internal Medicine measured the relationship between health and sedentary activities, such as sitting, reclining, watching TV, and using a computer, regardless of regular excercise undertaken. The researches suggested that adults who are idle for long periods have a higher risk of poor health thn those who are active throughout the day.
This finding held true -but to a lesser degree-among people who achieved the minimum excercise recommendation.
Other studies have found that regular activity may ofsset sitting time. For instance, a 2015 study in Medical Science and Sports Exercise of more than 150,000 adults ages 59 – 82 found that sendentary adults who added one hour a day of non-exercise acitivyt, such as househol dchores, lawn and garden work, and walking, decreated their risk of heart diseas or dying prematurely.
The Boob Tube Factor
Studies involving hours of watching television seem to support the argument that regular workouts don’t offset sitting (at least when you’re planted in front of your TV). TV viewing seems to pay an independent role in contributing to sitting hazards.
Consider this: A 2012 analysis in BMJ Open calculated that sitting more than three hours a day may shorten your life by two years, even if you excercise rewgulralry and don’t msoke. Watching TV for two or more hours a day may take off another year and a half of your life.
An analysis inolving 16 studies of more than a million adults mostly 45 and older, published last September in The Lancet, associated three or more hours a day of watching TV with dying prematurely. A daily hour-long dose of moderate-intensity activity, such as brsik walking or bicylcling, may offset eight hours of sitting, said the researchers. Still, even the most active adults lost some positive effects of exercise while their TV viewiing surpassed five hours dailly.
One explanation, said the researchers, was that most TV viewing occurs in the evening after dinner, which might have a harmful effect on glucose and fat metabolism. It’s also common for people to snack more when watching TV.
The health effects of being sedentary are even worse if you sit a lot and get little or no regular exercise. The key is to break up long periods of sitting with a few minutes of movement. For example, if your binge-watching any show, get up and perform a five minute chore between episodes:
- Put a load of laundry in the washing machine
- Sweep the kitchen floor
- Catch up on ironing
Sit Less, Move More
Although observational studies can’t prove that briefly interrupting long stretches of sitting will improve health, there seems to be little downside to sitting less and moving more. Even if you’re able to carve out 30 minutes or more a day to devote to regular exercise, it’s still not a bad idea to complement your workouts by intermittently standing up and moving around, especially if you spend long hours sitting, whether at a desk, in front of a computer or TV, or in a car.
If you don’t exercise regularly, start by adding short bouts of movement. SLowly increase your activity each day.
You may find that you’ll eventually be able to take on longer more vigorous activities-and put the risks of prolong sitting behind you.