Geriatrician, Hospitalist, Patient Advocate, Healthcare Educator

22 Minutes of Exercise Can Combat Sitting Disease

Per Linda Carroll in NBC News “Around 20 minutes of exercise a day may balance out the harms of sitting, study finds”.

“Research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, finds that about 22 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous activity may provide an antidote to the ills of prolonged sitting. What’s more, the researchers found that, as a person’s activity level increases, the risk of dying prematurely from any cause goes down.

In the study, researchers looked at information from nearly 12,000 people ages 50 and older in four datasets from Norway, Sweden and the United States. In those datasets, the participants wore movement detection devices on their hips for 10 hours a day for at least four days. All of the individuals included in the new study were tracked for at least two years.

Sitting for more than 12 hours a day, the researchers found, was associated with a 38% increased risk of death as compared to eight hours, but only among those who managed to get less than 22 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a day.

The risk of death went down with increasing amounts of physical activity. An extra 10 minutes a day translated into a 15% lower risk of death among those spending fewer than 10 ½ hours seated and a 35% lower risk among those who spent more than 10 ½ hours sedentary each day."

In this study, the group was split equally between men and women. It was found that daily exercise can be carried out all at once or in exercise “snacks” throughout the day. However you choose, just remember to move around. WHO recommends 150-300 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise per week or at least of 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, or a combination of both.

Sitting disease is associated with many health ailments. This study reiterates the fact that a little bit of activity can go a long way.