You may have heard sitting called the new smoking. Studies have shown that sitting for too long is bad for your health. Problems include not just back pain but also an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease or cancer (Mayo Clinic article). I wrote about it last year.
However, some hopeful news came out in July in “The Lancet” public health journal. Cambridge University scientists in England re-analyzed 16 studies that together included over one million people. This new look at the combined data indicates that daily activity can counter the effects of being sedentary. The researchers recommend that people move 60 to 75 minutes per day, but even lower amounts of activity will help.
“For many people who commute to work and have office-based jobs, there is no way to escape sitting for prolonged periods of time. For these people in particular, we cannot stress enough the importance of getting exercise, whether it’s getting out for a walk at lunchtime, going for a run in the morning or cycling to work. An hour of physical activity per day is the ideal, but if this is unmanageable, then at least doing some exercise each day can help reduce the risk.”
University of Cambridge news release and photo, above.