Posted on Jan 15, 2019, 8 p.m.
Being active and doing less sitting is linked to living longer and healthier. Replacing 30 minutes a day of being sedentary with physical activity even at light intensity is associated with a 17% lower risk of early death, as published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Replacing 30 minutes of sitting time with 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise was found to be associated with a 35% lower risk of early death. Keith Diaz of the Columbia University Medical Center explains 30 minutes of light intensity physical activity could even be as simple as a casual stroll; any movement at any length of time is going to provide a health benefit, and this is shifting what we know about physical activity.
National data was analyzed on 7,999 people aged 45+ who wore activity monitors to track their sedentary time. Replacing sedentary time with movement and exercise was associated with benefit, while replacing prolonged periods of sitting with shorter periods of sitting was not.
Previously taking a break every 30 minutes was shown to lower your risks from sitting, this study did not show that in the findings. People who took a movement every 30 minutes had a lower risk of death because they had more opportunity to move; it is hoped that these findings will help to encourage people to be more active in their daily lives, such as perhaps if you have limited time maybe choosing to walk to the further bathroom, or using the stairs for short climbs.
150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week is recommended for adults by the American College of Sports Medicine. This study suggests that physical activity of any level as being beneficial and needed, which is encouraging as just 30 minutes of light intensity activity such as walking could help to reduce risk of mortality by 17%.
There were some limitations to this study such as an association was only found between physical activity and lower risk of early death; and findings were based on simulations.
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