Study: Want to Live Longer? Be Active for 30 Minutes Per Day

03.19.2019

A recent study has placed less emphasis on how people exercise and more emphasis on just getting off the couch and moving. According to the study, published online in the American Journal of Epidemiology, you can add years to your lifespan by avoiding long periods of physical inactivity.

Researchers tracked almost 8,000 American adults aged 45 and older between 2009 and 2013. As part of the study, each participant wore physical activity monitors for at least four days. The researchers then followed up to determine deaths that occurred among participants until 2017. They concluded that people who replaced just 30 minutes of sitting per day with low-intensity physical activity lowered their risk of an early death by 17 percent.

For those who engaged in higher-intensity exercise, the results were even more significant. Participants who replaced 30 minutes of sitting with moderate- to high-intensity exercise cut their risk of early death by 35 percent, say researchers.

An important takeaway is that any level of physical activity provides health benefits, noted study lead author Keith Diaz. Even just a minute or two of added physical activity per day is beneficial.

Sitting Is the New Smoking

Even if your job involves sitting at a desk for most of the day, there are still ways to break up long periods of inactivity and protect your health. Here are a few tips to work in some activity during your work day, along with ways to move when you are sitting at a desk.

  • Raise your desk or worktable and stand.Standing activates more muscles and increases blood flow compared to sitting.
  • Sit on a stability ball.Sitting on a stability ball is a great way to keep your core in shape and your posture in check.
  • Take the stairs, always.Taking the stairs increases your number of steps and also builds leg muscles and gives your cardiovascular system me quick stimulation.
  • Move your feet.Many companies are catching on and allowing employees to purchase a desk treadmill, cycle or elliptical that allows you to move your feet under your desk while working.
  • Drink more water.Make it a point to get up and walk to the water fountain/break room and drink at least one cup of water every hour.
  • Stretch it out.The benefits of stretching are an increase in blood flow, injury prevention and a decrease in chronic pain.
  • Set reminders.Set an alarm on your computer or smartphone to prompt you to move every 20-25 minutes. This helps increase circulation and your metabolism.

Live Healthy – Get Screened at RediClinic

RediClinic encourages you to take control of your health with comprehensive health screenings to evaluate heart health and more. If you are wondering if you have or are at risk for diabetes, RediClinic can help with options for diabetes screening. All health screenings are conducted by board-certified clinicians and available seven days a week. Make an online appointment to visit RediClinic today.

In the meantime, get up, get out and get moving – it can save your life!