Combat the Negative Effects of Sitting with Just 22 Minutes of Daily Exercise

Combat the Negative Effects of Sitting with Just 22 Minutes of Daily Exercise

A new study has revealed that incorporating just 22 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) into your daily routine can effectively offset the detrimental health consequences associated with prolonged sitting. This research, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, highlights the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle to counteract the risks associated with sedentary behavior.

Experts conducted the study by analyzing data from 11,989 individuals over the age of 50, with an equal representation of males and females from Norway, Sweden, and the United States. Participants wore activity trackers to measure their MVPA levels. The findings revealed that individuals who spent more than 10.5 hours sitting per day faced an increased risk of premature mortality. However, engaging in at least 22 minutes of MVPA daily effectively eliminated this elevated risk.

Examples of moderate-intensity activities include brisk walking (4 mph or faster), heavy housework like window washing or mopping, cycling at 10-12 mph, and badminton. Vigorous activities, on the other hand, include hiking, jogging at 6 mph or faster, shoveling, fast cycling, football, basketball, and tennis.

Lead study author Edvard Sagelv from the Arctic University of Norway emphasized the study’s key findings: “Our study suggests that only those individuals with sitting times exceeding 12 hours per day face an increased risk of mortality. We’re referring to any type of sitting behavior, whether it’s prolonged office work or extensive television viewing. Our findings indicate that every additional minute of MVPA translates to a reduced mortality risk. Even if individuals engage in less than 22 minutes (such as 10 minutes), they still experience a lower mortality risk. However, achieving 22 minutes eliminates the heightened risk associated with sedentary time. This implies that as long as individuals engage in 22 minutes or more of MVPA daily, there is no excess risk from sedentary behavior. Moreover, exceeding 22 minutes per day further reduces the overall mortality risk. Essentially, the more activity, the better.”

The research team concluded: “Efforts to promote physical activity may yield substantial health benefits for individuals. Even small amounts of MVPA can effectively mitigate the mortality risk associated with excessive sedentary time.”

Regina Giblin, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation, commented on the study’s significance: “This research reinforces previous findings demonstrating the adverse effects of prolonged sitting and the positive impact of exercise. Incorporating active periods into your day can be as simple as taking regular breaks from your computer screen, going for a walk, or preparing a healthy meal from scratch. Being active contributes to weight management, blood pressure reduction, and improved mental health.”

Categories: Health