How bad is sitting? A perspective from SBS Insight

By Nadia Angelini on August 27, 2018

Last night's episode (26th June 2018) of Insight on SBS covered 'How to Exercise'. It was an eye-opener as it specifically went into the facts about sitting and how to avoid the risks of our new-age sedentary lives.

So what are the risks? 

More and more scientific evidence is demonstrating that exposure to high amounts of sitting significantly increases the risk of premature death, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. 

When we sit for long periods, we slow down the blood flow to our large muscles of the lower body impacting our metabolic and cardiovascular processes which work to maintain optimal blood sugar and blood pressure levels.

How can I avoid the risks?

Reducing these risks is possible if we spend 80-90 minutes undertaking moderate-intensity activities (like brisk walking) or 40-45 minutes of vigorous-intensity activities (like jogging), every day.

Sound reasonable?

Well not for most of us. Along with our new-age sedentary lives comes our new-age digital lives which means that 60% of us don't even have the time to achieve the minimum recommended amount of exercise of only 30 minutes a day! In fact, even if we manage to get in 30 minutes a day, it's been confirmed that this is nowhere near enough exercise to counter the impacts of all the sitting we do. 

Regular light-intensity activities can reduce premature death

For those of us who sit for long periods and don't have the time to undertake moderate-intensity or vigorous-intensity activities each day, there are 'countermeasures' to reduce the health risks. By introducing regular activity 'breaks' into our day, we can switch on our muscles and improve our blood flow and blood sugar levels. Fantastic news!

Achieving these regular activity breaks is as simple as:

  • Setting a timer to get up and move every 30 minutes
  • Standing up on public transport
  • Holding walking meetings
  • Taking the stairs
  • Visit colleagues rather than emailing
  • Standing up while your taking calls
  • Park your car further away

A standing desk is a simple solution to achieving the above, so long as it's used correctly. It also allows you to move while you're still working away so you can easily stay in the zone and productive while incorporating some much needed and vital healthy movement into your day.  

Thanks for reading!



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