A sedentary lifestyle is associated not only with a higher risk of early death and also an increased risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
If you’re like one of the millions of people in a sedentary job or lifestyle, you may wonder how to counteract the negative health impacts of sitting many hours per day. Well, new research suggests that 30-40 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity exercise per day can help offset the increased risk of premature death.
A meta-analysis of over 44,000 people published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine followed participants for 4-14 years across 4 different countries. The middle-aged and older participants were sedentary for an average of 8.5-10.5 hours per day and engaged in moderate-to-vigorous intensity exercise an average of 8-35 minutes per day. Risk of death was increased by 65% in the group that was most sedentary combined with the least amount of exercise (95% CI).
Physical activity guidelines recommend that adults participate in 150-300 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week, or roughly 20-40 minutes per day, or 75-150 minutes of vigorous exercise per week.
What are your favorite ways to get moving throughout the day? We are always looking for creative ways to break up the day… share your tips with us!
Kara Fitzgerald, ND, received her doctor of naturopathic medicine degree from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. She completed the first Counsel on Naturopathic Medicine-accredited post-doctorate position in nutritional biochemistry and laboratory science at Metametrix Clinical Laboratory under the direction of Richard Lord, PhD. Her residency was completed at Progressive Medical Center, a large, integrative medical practice in Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. Fitzgerald is the lead author and editor of Case Studies in Integrative and Functional Medicine and is a contributing author to Laboratory Evaluations for Integrative and Functional Medicine and the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM)’s Textbook for Functional Medicine. With the Helfgott Research Institute, Dr. Fitzgerald is actively engaged in clinical research on the DNA methylome using a diet and lifestyle intervention developed in her practice. The first publication from the study focuses on reversal of biological aging and was published 04-12-2021 in the journal Aging. She has published a consumer book titled Younger You as well as a companion cookbook, Better Broths and Healing Tonics and has an application-based Younger You Program, based on the study.
Dr. Fitzgerald is on the faculty at IFM, is an IFM Certified Practitioner and lectures globally on functional medicine. She runs a Functional Nutrition Residency program, and maintains a podcast series, New Frontiers in Functional Medicine and an active blog on her website, www.drkarafitzgerald.com. Her clinical practice is in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.
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I enjoy all sorts of movement but my favourite exercise is walking in the countryside – no less than 6 miles, usually with the Ramblers (I live in the UK).
My other equally favourite exercise is dancing: Bulgaria folk dancing has complex foot work which mental engagements adds to the physical engagement. Flamenco too is complex and invigorating. But for sheer fun i love modern jive.