It has been proven that being sedentary and sitting excessively is just as bad as cigarette smoking. And, just recently, a study conducted by researchers at University of Pennsylvania and published at Medicine and Science In Sports and Exercise found that an extra 10 minutes of activity daily can indeed help a person live longer. According to Ezra Fishman, lead author of the study;
When we compare people who exercise the same amount, those who sit less and move around more tend to live longer.
During the study, the participants were equipped with an accelerometer, a highly sensitive tracker that track the participants’ activities every minute for a week. Then, the researchers follow up participants mortality rate for the next 8 years and see who were likely to die or live longer based on their activities. The researchers found that participants who were least active were three times likely to die compared to people who are moderately active, and five times more likely to die when compared to participants who are highly active. In other words, the more active the individual, the longer the lifespan.
When it comes to activity, it does not mean breaking a sweat by doing hardcore exercises for hours, but every small activity counts such as washing the dishes, walking around, and even a simple activity like sweeping the floor has a tremendous positive effect. The researchers did not find an exact length of the time to be active, but they said as little as 10 minutes of extra effort count. And, again, these activities do not translate to rigorous exercises or doing heavy work. The researchers’ public message is to get moving instead of sitting for long hours.
Tips To Get Moving And Avoid Sitting
For those who are staying at home, it’s easy to get moving as there are unending household chores to take care. All that is needed to do is the will to get moving like cleaning the windows, washing the dishes instead of putting them in the dishwasher, and doing so has some benefits according to one study. So, why not take a few minutes to wash the dishes, and it’s fun, too.
Washing the clothes without using the washing machine is another thing. Of course, if there are a huge pile of clothes, let the washing machine handles the big ones, and you do the light ones manually. Gardening is another fun activity to do that keeps your body moving and active.
Plus, gardening while walking barefoot on earth has some benefits, as well. It’s called grounding. Recent studies found it has tremendous positive effects on health. Experts call it the free antioxidants from the earth that is suck-up by the body to neutralize free radicals.
For those who are desk workers, there’s a lot of things you can do somewhat reverse the excessive sitting. Instead of bringing water to your desk, try to get up once every hour and drink water from the water dispenser. This way, you’ll be able to walk a few meters, which is very negligible but can have a positive effect in the long run. During lunch break after eating your meal, try to go outside and walk a few minutes. If there is a park nearby, that would be nice to stay outside and breath fresh air.
Upon getting back to the office, try to use the stairs instead of the elevators especially if you’re just on the 2nd or 3rd floor. If you’re on the 15th floor and above, try to walk a few floors through the stairs. This makes you moving and as a matter of fact, a great exercise. You don’t have to sweat a lot and climb the stairs really fast but take your time. During the weekends, there’s a lot of things you can do to stay active. You can either play sports, walk in the park with your dog, family, or friends, or even go country hiking.
The main goal is to stay active regardless how light is the activity, it counts. Soon, you’ll find that the more you move, the more energy you have.