Sitting all day is terrible for you, but there’s an easy way to counteract it

A easy hack might assist you keep away from the damaging well being implications of sitting down all day, in line with a examine

Human beings will not be suited to sitting on their bums all day. Working via forests, sure. Climbing timber, sure. Sitting in entrance of laptop screens, undoubtedly not. But billions of us do it not less than 5 days every week, dictated as we’re by western work patterns.

The well being implications are appreciable. Research counsel that individuals who sit down for extended intervals are at greater risk of developing chronic conditions such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Even every day bursts of train, whereas welcome, will not be essentially a panacea for lengthy spells on the desk. 

Analysis on the topic is patchy, with the UK’s Nationwide Heath Service (NHS) acknowledging that there’s “not sufficient proof to set a time restrict on how a lot time individuals ought to sit every day”. 

Aiming to deal with this analysis hole are teachers at Columbia College within the US. Led by Keith Diaz, affiliate professor of behavioural drugs, they sought to learn how to mitigate the dangers of sitting down all day with out having to do something drastic like stop your job.

There’s was, admittedly, a small examine. Solely 11 adults took half. Every had been required to take a seat in a lab for eight hours – representing a typical workday – over the course of 5 days. On a type of days, members sat all day, getting up just for bathroom breaks. On the others, Diaz and his crew examined plenty of totally different strolling methods to interrupt up the sitting. 

“Our purpose was to search out the least quantity of strolling one might do to offset the dangerous well being results of sitting,” Diaz wrote in a blog post for The Dialog. “Specifically, we measured adjustments in blood sugar ranges and blood strain, two essential danger components for coronary heart illness.”

Sitting all day is linked to persistent well being circumstances, corresponding to coronary heart illness. Picture: Israel Andrade

In response to their findings, a five-minute mild stroll each half-hour was the one technique that considerably diminished blood sugar ranges, decreasing the blood sugar spike after consuming by nearly 60 per cent in comparison with sitting down.

Throughout the study, researchers additionally requested members to charge their psychological state through the use of a questionnaire. 

“We discovered that in contrast with sitting all day, a five-minute mild stroll each half-hour diminished emotions of fatigue, put members in a greater temper and helped them really feel extra energised,” he wrote. “We additionally discovered that even walks simply as soon as each hour had been sufficient to spice up temper and cut back emotions of fatigue.”

Our purpose was to search out the least quantity of strolling one might do to offset the dangerous well being results of sitting

Extra analysis is required, however the outcomes chime with recommendation from the UK authorities’s Well being and Security Government, which recommends “brief breaks typically, reasonably than longer ones much less typically”. It suggests 5 to 10 minutes each hour.

Diaz and his colleagues at the moment are testing different methods for offsetting the well being harms of extended sitting, geared toward individuals who can’t simply get out their seats, like cabbies. 

“Discovering different methods that yield comparable outcomes can present the general public with a number of totally different choices, and finally enable individuals to choose the technique that works greatest for them and their life-style,” mentioned Diaz.

Predominant picture: Christin Hume