Moderate exercise can undo effects of prolonged sitting

Wed, 13 Apr 2016
According to a recent study, the effects of sitting down can be reversed by exercising each week for two and a half hours.

This equates to just 22 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each day, and it will provide people with a boost to their health, according to a team of researchers at the University of Leicester, who conducted the study.

Health conditions such obesity, cancer, type 2 diabetesand even premature death are all linked to a sedentary lifestyle. In the UK, a significant number of people sit down for at least seven hours a day, and in order to counteract this, people should ensure they take part in moderate exercise each day.

To create a representative sample for adults in England, the group used data taken from the 2008 Health Survey. They then divided them up into four groups, depending on their activity levels.

People who were not physically active, and highly sedentary, were 'Couch Potatoes'. Those who were not physically active, and not very sedentary, were 'Light Movers'. Those who were physically active, but highly sedentary, were 'Sedentary Exercisers'. Those who were physically active, and not very sedentary, were 'Busy Bees'.

Dr Thomas Yates, who was part of the research team, said: "It is possible for an individual, over the course of a day, to have high levels of physical activity and still accumulate large amounts of sedentary time," said Dr Thomas Yates, who was part of the research team.

"Overall, adults who engaged in at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week, including 'Sedentary Exercisers', had more favourable health profiles compared to those categorised as 'Couch Potatoes'."

"By suggesting that being physically active may offset some of the deleterious consequences of routinely engaging in high levels of sedentary behaviour, this study further emphasises the importance of physical activity in the promotion and maintenance of health," he continued.

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