Office workers, cashiers, secretaries, social media managers, content creators, managers, journalists: these are just some of the categories of workers forced to spend most of their day in a static position. Most people lead one sedentary lifestylewhich is harmful to the health of the organism so much so that according to the first report by WHO, the World Health Organization, on the impact of inactivity, the lack of movement will make almost 500 million people ill in the world by 2030.
To reduce the risk, therefore, it is essential to move more, but how much? According to a meta-analysis conducted by a team of Norwegian researchers, from the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, to balance 10 hours spent in a sitting position need to practice come on 30 to 40 minutes of physical activityof moderate or vigorous intensity, per day.
Sedentary lifestyle is dangerous
Most people are forced to maintain the same position for most of the day and often do not give any importance to the way in which they do it, ending up adopting incorrect postural attitudes. Moreover, this carelessness frequently extends to all the other positions assumed in the rest of the day, for example while walking, lifting weights, watching TV, sleeping. The result? Not infrequently, problems such as back pain, circulation difficulties, headache, neck pain, dizziness, scoliosis, intestinal disorders take over.
Not only that: a sedentary lifestyle is one of the main risk factors for many diseases, from cardiovascular pathologies to tumors, fromobesity to rheumatic ailments, from metabolic diseases to immune deficiencies. After all, the body is designed to move: if it stays still for too long, many negative consequences can take over.
What the new study says
The new meta-analysis suggests that to compensate for the long time spent in sedentary mode it is essential to practice physical activity for at least 30-40 minutes a day. The authors analyzed the results of nine prospective cohort studies conducted in four different countries, which collectively examined 44,370 men and women. The volunteers were followed up for between 4 and 14.5 years, during which time 3,451 participants died (for a mortality rate of 7.8%).
Experts examined the associations between different combinations of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity and sedentary time using various methods. Reviewing all the data, the scholars found that in the cohorts of subjects taken into consideration, the average time spent in a sedentary position varied from 8.5 hours to 10.5 hours a day, while that dedicated to the practice of intense physical activity moderate to vigorous ranged from 8 minutes per day to 35 minutes per day.
Compared with the reference group (with the highest level of physical activity and the lowest level of sedentary time), the risk of death increased with decreasing levels of movement and increasing the amount of sedentary time.
Moving helps mitigate the effects of a sedentary lifestyle
The researchers concluded that the longer the sedentary time, the higher the mortality rate and that approx 30-40 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity per day attenuates the association between sedentary time and risk of death. To compensate for 10 hours a day spent doing a sedentary job or activity, therefore, you need to move at a significant pace for a time ranging from 30 to 40 minutes.
Another study published in the authoritative scientific journal The Lancet reached a similar conclusion, according to which the 150 minutes of physical activity per week recommended by the World Health Organization are not enough. Researchers have estimated that people who sit at a desk for eight hours and practice little physical activity have a 9.9% risk of death, a risk that decreases al 6.8% for those who sit for four hours or a day and do at least 60 minutes of sport.
The benefits of physical activity
According to a recent study by theEurobarometer, Italy occupies the eleventh position in the special classification of the most sedentary countries in Europe. After all, 56% of our compatriots do not play sports. The situation has certainly improved compared to a few years ago when the “lazy” were 62%, but not enough.
In fact, movement has favorable effects on global health, so we should never give it up: reduces all-cause mortalityimproves cardiorespiratory and muscular capacity, makes body composition and biochemical profile more favorable for cardiovascular preventiondiabetes and bone diseases.
The useful tips
- Have an active lifestyle, doing at least 10,000 steps a day.
- Privilege all those gestures that involve the use of the body, for example taking the stairs instead of taking the lift, walk to workget off one stop before the subway.
- Practicing real physical activity, for at least an hour, three times a day.
- At work, take small breaks every hourfor example by getting up and taking a walk or by performing small exercises on the spot.
Getting around is also good for the toxic work environment.