Intermittent Movement Benefits Your Health. Here’s How to Get More of It into Your Work Day
By Dr. Mercola
Over 50 percent of American men, and 60 percent of American women, never engage in any vigorous physical activity lasting more than 10 minutes per week.1 This despite a growing body of research clearly showing that “exercise deficiency” threatens your overall health and mental well-being, and shortens your lifespan.
That said, even if you fall into the other half of the population that exercises or are even a highly competitive and fit athlete, you may still endanger your health simply by sitting too much.
For example, one 2012 analysis2 that looked at the findings from 18 studies found that those who sat for the longest periods of time were twice as likely to have diabetes or heart disease, compared to those who sat the least.
Worse yet, it appears that temporary vigorous exercise can’t even compensate for the damage incurred by prolonged daily sitting!
In fact, it’s becoming increasingly clear that staying active—and by that I mean engaging in virtually any physical movement—as much as possible, throughout the day, is critical for health and longevity. It even appears to be more important, in the big scheme of things, than a regularly scheduled fitness routine…
Sitting Down Too Much Raises Your Risk of Heart Failure
Besides increasing your risk of metabolic problems, researchers warn that the combination of sitting too much and exercising too little can more than double the risk of heart failure in men.3, 4 As reported by USA Today:5
“The risk of heart failure was more than double for men who sat for at least five hours a day outside of work and didn’t exercise very much compared with men who were physically active and sat for less than two hours a day… The risk was lowest for men who exercised the most and sat for fewer than two hours a day…
Government statistics show almost half of people report sitting more than six hours a day, and 65 percent say they spend more than two hours a day watching TV. ‘If you’ve been sitting for an hour, you’ve been sitting too long,’ says James Levine, co-director of Obesity Solutions at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix and Arizona State University.”
This study6 also confirms the alarming findings of earlier ones, which is that a regular fitness routine does NOT counteract the effects of prolonged sitting. The study—which followed more than 82,000 men for 10 years—found that these risk correlations held true no matter how much they exercised!