We know for some time that sitting too much is unhealthy for you. However, the journal of the American College of Sports Medicine published a paper on Jan. 12, 2023 that five minutes of walking every half hour will prevent illnesses from prolonged sitting.
CNN also reviewed this article.
For about 10 years or so the scientific community know that prolonged sitting can cause diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Not only that, but prolonged sitting causes also premature death. The goal is to break up sitting with some form of movement.
Reasons why sitting too much is unhealthy for you
Scientists do not know exactly why prolonged sitting is unhealthy for you. But the working theory is that muscles are important for the regulation of blood sugar and cholesterol. Keith Diaz, the study’s lead author and assistant professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University Medical Center said:”When you sit for too long, your muscles don’t have the opportunity to contract and operate optimally. Even little
‘activity snacks’ like one minute of walking every hour was shown to reduce blood pressure in study participants by a ‘sizable amount’”.
Example of research that showed that sitting too much is unhealthy for you
A Sept. 12, 2017 CNN article summarized research by Dr. Diaz from the Annals of Internal Medicine. This US study followed the habits of 7985 black and white adults aged 45 years or older. They had hip-mounted accelerometers to monitor their body posture. This way the researchers could monitor what time intervals the subjects were sitting and moving about. People were sitting 12.3 hours in an average 16-hour day. The average stretch of sitting was 11.4 minutes.
- Those who sat for more than 13 hours per day had a 200% greater risk of death than those who sat for less than 11 hours per day.
- Those who sat in stretches of less than 30 minutes at a time had a 55% lower risk of death than those who sat for more than 30 minutes at a time.
- People who sat more than 90 minutes at a time had a risk of death that was 2-fold higher than those who sat less than 90-minute stretches.
Dr. Diaz said: “If you have a job or lifestyle where you have to sit for prolonged periods, the best suggestion I can make is to take a movement break every half hour. Our findings suggest this one behavior change could reduce your risk of death.”
Previous studies showed that sitting too much is unhealthy for you. It causes cardiovascular disease and premature deaths. But the solution to solve this problem is simple. Simply get up after half an hour of sitting and move about. As little as 3 to 5 minutes of exercise every half hour can prevent the negative effects of sitting. It will take time for this knowledge to work through the ranks of employers. Attention span, energy and productivity improve when you take mini breaks from sitting.