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Stop the Sedentary, Start Adding Activity

The health implications of sedentary are alarming, let's get moving

Written by Cindy Kugler, MS, Bryan LifePointe exercise specialist

Today we are far more sedentary than 60 years ago. The reasons for this include changes in transportation, environment, technology and the workday. We watch at least twice as much TV as we did the 1950s, have jobs that require little or no physical activity, spend more time driving and sitting in traffic, and technological devices lead to more and more sedentary behaviors.

The health implications are alarming. A recent study showed that in the United States most of us spend more than 7.5 hours a day being sedentary (or inactive). Studies also show that nearly half of us don’t get the recommended minimum amount of physical activity. The result is an increased risk of many of the leading causes of health issues today.

Break the Cycle

In addition to increasing daily exercise, it is recommended that we reduce sedentary behavior to no more that 60 minutes at a time.

Here are some great ways you can break the cycle of being inactive, and bring activity into your life.

  • Set a limit on screen time and when you do watch TV stand up during the commercials, march in place, use dumb bells or a exercise band or do household tasks
  • When doing household tasks increase your pace when climbing stairs, do extra flights of stairs when able, stand whenever possible to do the chore instead of sitting
  • During work hours take hourly breaks to stretch or walk around, walk to your co-workers office to talk to them instead of phoning them, walk during meetings if possible and take the stairs instead of the elevator when possible

Sedentary behavior has many negative health implications. Adding multiple short activities to your day, whenever possible, is a great way to increase your physical activity and decrease your risk for many health conditions.

Continue your daily exercise AND get up and move every 60 minutes

Daily exercise and reduced periods of inactivity are equally important to your health and your success. Studies show that sedentary time frames (periods of inactivity), even if they are short time periods throughout the day, can be harmful. So keep up your daily exercise and make sure you have some form of activity every 60 minutes to reduce the amount and length of sedentary time periods.

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