I believe I am very active, I’m on my feet at work, exercise 6 days a week, run, go to the gym – all the good stuff . I easily met the most recent recommendations of the American College of Sports Medicine (Haskell et al., 2007) of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. I am fit, healthy BMI <25, and “active”. but then I came across this sitting calculator (http://www.getbritainstanding.org/) and ……… apparently Im not ……… according to this I’m at high to medium risk of a number of diseases due to my level of INACTIVITY and sitting. So there is something wrong with this……… Surely!
So I did my own bit of research and yes I am active but I spend fair amount of my day on my backside and this is a problem, a big problem! The contribution of increased levels of activity to health have been studied as far back as the 1950s, at which time bus conductors and postmen were identified as having lower death rates from cardiovascular disease than less active workers – drivers and switchboard operators (Morris et al., 1953).
Even though the evidence suggests that increased levels of physical activity have numerous health benefits, the effects of simultaneous sedentary behaviour on health remain scantily investigated (Katzmarzyk et al., 2009). Sedentary behaviours include sitting, driving (commuting), lying down (not sleeping) and television viewing (Chu & Moy, 2013). Industrial, technological and social progress have considerably reduced physical activity levels and greatly increased the participation in sedentary behaviours (Matthews et al., 2012). When compared to our parents and grandparents, my generation work and live in surroundings that discourage movement and physical activity – we are required to sit for prolonged periods in work, school and home (Owen et al., 2010). The research of a “sedentary lifestyle” has predominantly focussed on the detrimental results of non participation in the recommended level of exercise, nevertheless the appreciation of the adverse effects of sedentary behaviours on health is growing rapidly.(Matthews et al., 2012).
So currently I work hard, train hard and sit long. And that is a problem, not just for me, but for a lot of us. So what can i change …. watch this space!
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