Can Physical Activity Offset the Health Risks of Sitting Too Long?

Created 3 months ago, updated 3 months ago

At least 150 minutes of exercise per week could substantially reduce or offset the health risks of sitting for long periods of time, research suggests. The study, led by the University of Sydney in collaboration with Loughborough University, found that by replacing sitting with physical activity – but not standing – reduced the risk of premature death among people who sit for over six hours a day.

The study also discovered that people who were physically inactive and sat for more than eight hours a day, had a 107 percent higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. This is compared to those who did at least one hour of physical activity per day and sat for less than four hours per day.

Sitting is often touted as the new smoking but it has been unclear if it is the sitting itself, or the lack of physical activity that causes the harm. Researchers found that meeting the Australian public health recommendation of 150-300 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (such as brisk walking) per week, eliminated the risks associated with sitting.