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The Fitness Zone

Killer Desk Jobs: Why Sitting Down is Bad for You
August 28, 2013

Two studies have shown that those who sit down for longer than about 10 hours daily are two to three times more likely to die sooner than those who sit very little.

A University of Sydney study of 222,000 adults over 45 found those who sat for 11 hours per day or more had a 40% higher chance of premature death than those who sat for fewer than four hours.

A US study made similar findings. Sedentary men (sitting 10.8 hours daily) and women (10.1 hours) were over three times more likely to die prematurely than active men (who sat less than 7.6 hours) and women (7.2 hours).

And the news gets worse. It seems the recommended 30 minutes of daily exercise won't save you.

The muscle contractions that happen when we stand stimulate enzymes that regulate blood fat and sugar levels. Lack of contraction slows this process down, and a daily bout of exercise is not enough to maintain it throughout the day.

Instead, regular movement is the key. All it may take to keep the enzymes switched on is to stand or take a short walk. Research is showing a two-minute activity break every 20 minutes may be enough to maintain good health.

Health institutions like the Australian Heart Foundation and American College of Sports Medicine now recommend building standing into your daily routine. Simple actions like standing while on the telephone, doing household chores, or on public transport might save your life.

Alternatively, you could consider a more active career such as one in the fitness industry. Sports Coaches, gym staff and Personal Trainers are some of the fittest and healthiest people because their active jobs.


This content is not intended to be used as individual health or fitness advice divorced from that imparted by medical, health or fitness professionals. Medical clearance should always be sought before commencing an exercise regime. The Institute and the authors do no take any responsibility for accident or injury caused as a result of this information.

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