Daily 1 Hour of Exercise Balance Health Risks of Extended Sitting

A typical day for many individuals consists of a minimum of 8 hours of sitting. A global study of over 1 million individuals reveals that 1 hour of moderate physical exercise can eradicate the health risks connected with sedentary behavior.

The study forms the first part of a four paper series presented by The Lancet that offers an overview and update of global trends of physical activity and the worldwide impact of physical inactivity.

The initial series monitoring physical activity was published in 2012 ahead of the Summer Olympic Games. The research authors warned that there has been minimal progress in dealing with the global outbreak of physical activity since the 2012 Olympics, with one forth of adults globally unable to fulfill physical activity recommendations.

In the analysis, the investigators posed the question: Does exercise decrease or remove the harmful effects  – which includes enhanced risk of early death – that are connected with continuous sitting?

Health hazards that are connected to physical in-activity include an enhanced risk of heart problems, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancers, with latest reports indicating that more than 5 million individuals die each year worldwide due to the inability to meet daily activity levels.

Total global cost of physical inactivity is a minimum of $67.5 billion

Results from the second part of the series – a world initial study to calculate the economic burden of physical inactivity globally – reveals that internationally in healthcare expenses and lost productivity, physical inactivity costs  the entire world $67 billion in 2013.

Dr. Melody Ding, senior research fellow at The University of Sydney’s School of Public Health, Australia says,

“Physical in-activity is identified as a worldwide pandemic that not only results in diseases and early deaths, but enforces a main burden to the economy.”

Dr. Ding notices that if no action is taken to enhance population levels of physical inactivity, the economic burden of physical inactivity is estimated to enhance globally, predominantly in low and middle income nations.

The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that adults aged 18-64 must do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week.

In the initial paper of the series, the investigators examined 16 studies, which involved data from over 1 million individuals.

The team established 4 groups of individuals depending on their level of moderate-intensity exercise, varying from 5-75 minutes per day. Moderate-intensity exercise was described as walking 3.5 miles per hour or cycling at 10 miles per hour.

1 hour of exercise everyday can mitigate threats of early death

Outcomes from the study show that individuals that spend 8 hours a day sitting but are physically active have a considerably reduced risk of death than individuals who spend fewer hours sitting, but who are not physically active.

In addition, the enhanced risk of death connected with spending 8 hours sitting was eradicated by 1 hour of physical activity daily.

Individuals who had the greatest risk of death were those people who sat for extended periods and were mostly inactive. They were between 28-59 % more probable to die early, in comparison with those in the most active group, which is a similar threat to that connected with smoking and obesity.

The study finds out that only about 25 % of individuals did an hour or more work out daily.

Prof. Ulf Ekelund, of the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences, Norway stated,

“There has been a variety of concern about the health risks linked with today’s more sedentary lifestyles.”

“Our message is a positive one: it is feasible to decrease – or even remove – these risks if we are active sufficient, even without having to take up sports or go to the gym.”

Adding to above statement Ulf Ekelund said “For many individuals who commute to work and have office based jobs, there is no way to avoid sitting for extended periods of time. For these individuals in particular, we cannot stress sufficient the significance of getting exercise, whether it’s getting out for a walk at lunchtime, going for a run in the morning or cycling to work. One hour of physical activity daily is the ideal, but if this is uncontrollable, then at least doing some work out each day can help decrease the risk.”