Effects of prolonged sitting down reversed with moderate exercise

Wed, 13 Apr 2016
A new study has indicated that exercising for just two and a half hours a week can reverse the effects of sitting down for a prolonged period of time.

Just 22 minutes of moderate exercise each day is able to provide people with a health boost, according to the research which was conducted by the University of Leicester.

Being too sedentary is strongly linked to a number of health conditions, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and cancer. A large number of people in the UK sit down for more than seven hours each day, and should take part in daily physical activity to counter this.

The researchers used data taken from the 2008 Health Survey, in order to create a sample which represented adults in England.

The adults were categorised into one of four groups, based on their activity levels. 'Couch potatoes' were not physically active, and highly sedentary. 'Light Movers' were not physically active, and not very sedentary. 'Sedentary Exercisers' were physically active, but highly sedentary. 'Busy Bees' were physically active, and not very sedentary.

"It is possible for an individual, over the course of a day, to have high levels of physical activity and still accumulate large amounts of sedentary time," said Dr Thomas Yates, who was part of the research team.

"Overall, adults who engaged in at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week, including 'Sedentary Exercisers', had more favourable health profiles compared to those categorised as 'Couch Potatoes'."

"By suggesting that being physically active may offset some of the deleterious consequences of routinely engaging in high levels of sedentary behaviour, this study further emphasises the importance of physical activity in the promotion and maintenance of health."

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