In a digital age where sitting has become the norm, the detrimental effects of prolonged inactivity on health are widely acknowledged. However, a recent meta-analysis study, relying on objective wearable data, sheds light on a promising countermeasure: engaging in 30-40 minutes of “moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity” (exercise) each day.
The study, analyzing information from 44,370 individuals in four countries, unveils a compelling finding – individuals who incorporate daily intense activities, such as cycling or brisk walking, significantly reduce their risk of premature death, even when faced with long periods of sitting totaling 10 hours.
INTEGRATING PHYSICAL ACTIVITY INTO DAILY ROUTINES
Published alongside the World Health Organization’s 2020 Global Guidelines on Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour, the research underscores the importance of integrating physical activity into daily routines. The guidelines recommend 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week to counteract the adverse effects of sedentary behavior.
Lead researcher Emmanuel Stamatakis from the University of Sydney highlights the significance of the findings, emphasizing that “all physical activity counts, and any amount of it is better than none.” Notably, the study’s reliance on objective wearable data, rather than self-reported information, bolsters the credibility of its conclusions.
While acknowledging the challenges of crafting universal recommendations for diverse age groups and body types, the research aligns with prior findings and contributes valuable insights to the ongoing exploration of maintaining health in the face of extended periods of desk-based work. Stamatakis anticipates that as the field evolves, it will address remaining gaps in knowledge and refine guidelines in the years to come.