Physical inactivity is a global pandemic increasing the risks of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia and some cancers like colon cancer.
Worldwide statistics show there are billions of dollars in costs to individuals, families and the economy from not being active enough and millions of lives lost.
Unless you’re bed ridden, we’re all physically active to some extent. After all we have to get out of bed, shower, walk to the kitchen then the car. But the recommendations are for a minimum of two and a half hours of moderate exercise each week. Moderate means being a bit breathless and having trouble carrying out a conversation. The further you are away from reaching that target, the higher your risk of dying sooner from an avoidable problem.
A recent study showed that daily physical activity can completely counteract the unhealthy effects of sitting at work. For instance one hour of activity neutralises eight hours of sitting in the office or car. The exception is sitting in front of the television which is more toxic because we tend to have all sorts of other unhealthy behaviours in front of the screen. Sporadic physical activity does help, but not as much.
Climb stairs, take brisk walks, cycle or walk instead of taking the car. There are all sorts of things you can do to increase your daily activity. Talk your doctor if you have any concern about this matter.
Reference: Ekelund, Ulf, et al. “Does physical activity attenuate, or even eliminate, the detrimental association of sitting time with mortality? A harmonised meta-analysis of data from more than 1 million men and women.” The Lancet (2016).