Sit less to live longer says W.H.O

Sit less to live longer says W.H.O

Your Elmbridge Magazine Feb 2021

Each Month Fundamentally FIT Coach Andy Strong writes for local magazine Your Elmbridge. Here you will find past articles a month after publication. For the latest article and all current local news and events check out Your Elmbridge for the free digital edition.

During a time where we are one Government recommendation away from being told not to leave your sofa, it has never been so important to plan your physical activity.

Following a paper published by the British Medical Journal, the World Health Organisation announced it was updating its exercise recommendations. This change of approach is based on new research which shows that you can reduce the associated risk of early death from being excessively sedentary by exceeding daily activity recommendations.

This is the first recommendation where excessive time spent being sedentary is directly linked to increase risk of serious ill health and death.

This study was carried out across four countries and with 44,000 participants, each using fitness trackers to account for physical activity and time spent being sedentary.

Intensity is important for wider health goals but getting out for a brisk walk each day will help tackle the sedentary nature of lockdown and remote working.

Based on the results it is believed that those spending more than ten hours per day have a significantly increased risk of ill health and death.

The encouraging news is that the negative impact can be undone with as little as 30-40 minutes of moderate to vigorous daily activity, brining your risk level down to that of someone who less sedentary.

Sit less to live longer says W.H.O
Credit: Jeffrey-Grospe, Unsplash

 While the W.H.O cannot set a maximum safe time limit for being sedentary it is advised to be as active as often as you can be and to ensure that you focus on getting in your daily activity. The good news is that all type of activity counts towards reducing negative health risks. This might be going for a walk, gardening, or trying out a home workout on the internet. The important thing is to be active each day.

The current recommendations encourage 150-300 minutes of moderate intensity, or at least 75-100 minutes of vigorous intensity each week.

Intensity is important for wider health goals but getting out for a brisk walk each day will help tackle the sedentary nature of lockdown and remote working.

Moderate intensity would be 6.5-7.5 out of ten effort (depending on fitness levels) and should leave you a little breathless with a raised body temperature. Vigorous activity would be higher intensity exercise at 7.5-10 out of 10 effort, or a challenging effort with laboured breathing.

Wherever your fitness is starting from make sure that you plan a daily activity of 30-40 minutes will be a solid starting point to offset the dangers of the sedentary Lockdown.

Stay Safe


Source – Special issue: World Health Organization Guidelines Issue December 2020 Volume 54 Issue 24, pp 1451-1510, published 25 November 2020 Journal: British Journal of Sports Medicine     

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