Exercise Versus A Sedentary Lifestyle
Compared to our parents and grandparents, we are spending so much more time in environments that not only limit physical activity but require prolonged sitting – at work, at home and in our cars. These changes have a dual effect on human behavior: people move less and sit more.
People who sit more have been termed sedentary (an energy expenditure that is less than or equal to 1.5x the resting metabolic rate aka sitting posture). It is driven from the latin word: sedere ‘to sit’.
People who move less are physically inactive, meaning that they are not meeting specified physical activity guidelines.
What’s surprising is that recent evidence suggests that a sedentary lifestyle is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality from that of time spent exercising.
This is an important note because it is still possible that someone can be physically active (e.g ride your bike to work) but also engage in several hours of sedentary behavior (sitting at work all day). This boils down to still increasing your chances of associated health risks if you live a sedentary lifestyle.
These new insights identify the need to reduce prolonged sitting and increase light-intensity activities (e.g standing, micro breaks at work), in addition to engaging in regular moderate-to-vigorous activities.
So don’t forget to take a stand (quite literally), stretch your legs and take intermittent breaks at work by standing (even if it’s for a couple of minutes) – It will help to reduce the associated risks of sedentary behaviours.