If your general routine means you are constantly sitting down, then your health may be at risk. A report in the American Journal of Epidemiology aligns the amount of time spent sitting on your back with risks of death, regardless of your exercise routine.
More than ever before, our bodies are suffering through long periods of inactivity, ie commuting to work in long traffic queues, perched behind a computer screen for hours on end at work, or slouched in front of the television in the evenings, too tired to even contemplate any exercise.
It was a feeling for a long time that a couple of hours exercise a week was sufficient to maintain a healthy work-life balance, so if all this reminds you of your normal routine, then you may need to read ahead.
There is a misconception about who qualifies for the "sedentary" tag. It's often associated with people who do little or no exercise, who are repelled by any type of strenuous activity, but this is not strictly accurate.
Stuart Biddle – a professor in Exercise Psychology at Loughborough University – intimates that if someone walks for 30-40 minutes a day, but sets for the rest of the time, then such people are still described as having a "sedentary" lifestyle.
Dr. David Dunstan – a Melbourne exercise researcher, from the Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute – says that 30-60 minutes a day of exercise is good work, but that there was the possibility that you would be sitting down for the other 15 hours. He also stressed that such a disproportation amount ofactivity may negate this modest amount of exercise.
The report in the American Journal of Epidemiology supports this view. Many of the hormones affected by obesity and chronic disease are controlled by how we exercise, and conversely, how our metabolism changes when we do not exercise. Periods of inactivity slow down metabolism, which affects blood pressure, blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels.
The report specifics that on top of a daily 30 minute routine on a thread-mill or on the road, there are many other little things one could do to improve the regulatory process in the body; walking to the shops, cleaning the house, mowing the lawn or gardening can all help.
It may also be a good idea to take a break in work every so often, and go for a walk to relate not only the brain, but also the body. The spine was not designed for such long sitting periods and these will eventually lead to bad posture. Instead of e-mailing or phoning a college with a simple query, why not walk over to his desk instead. Drinking plenty of water is excellent for your body's hydration, so walking to the water-cooler to fill up your container will also stimulate your muscles when they may have otherwise been inactive.
Best practice is to make out a list of simple activities you can do at home and in your workplace to alleviate the risks associated with sedentary behavior.