Could your desk job be killing you? Sadly, yes. Sitting for prolonged periods of time every day is linked to life-threatening health issues, including Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat and obesity – along with increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.
But no need to find a new career (unless, of course, you want to!). Even if you spend your work day parked on your posterior, you can combat the ill effects with a heathy dose of exercise, according to a recent study published in The Lancet.
The meta-analysis, which examined data from 16 previous studies, found that 60 to 75 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity – such as a brisk walk or bike ride – seemed to eliminate the increased risk of death associated with sitting for long hours.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 150 minutes (about 30 minutes 5 days/week) of aerobic activity a week for adults age 18 to 64, but according to The Lancet study, it may not be enough for those who are stuck at a desk all day long.
The 60 to 75 minutes of physical activity doesn’t have to be done all at once, researchers note. It can be spread throughout the day. For example, you can hit the gym for 30 minutes or go for a brisk walk before work, then walk for 20 minutes at lunch and do 10 minutes of jumping jacks before dinner. But it does need to add up to at least 60 minutes.