Sit Less, Improve More!

couch_potatoReduce your time sitting by just 21 minutes per day. According to a new report, that’s all it takes to improve your health.

From Newsmax.com:

Decreasing the time you sit on the couch just 21 minutes a day can improve your health, say Finnish researchers who set out to discover if reducing sedentary time would harvest any health benefits during one year.

They found that sitting less improved some biomarkers, including fasting glucose levels, and maintained muscle mass during the year.

According to Men’s Health, “In the study, researchers recruited 133 office workers and split them into two groups. One group underwent counseling to provide them with strategies to reduce their sedentary time; the other skipped the sessions. The researchers fitted the participants with accelerometers to see how their movement changed from baseline over the course of a year. After three months, the people in the get-moving group reduced their leisure sedentary time by 21 minutes per day. During that same time period, their fasting blood sugar levels significantly decreased, too.”

ScienceDaily.com added:

“The present study was among the first ones to show that it is possible to reduce sedentary time and that even a small decrease in sedentary time can be beneficial for initially healthy people. Reductions in sedentary time may be easier to achieve when they are incorporated in common family activities and other everyday tasks during leisure time.”

Incorporating exercise into ‘common family activities’ played a major role in the study. In fact, researchers pointed out that family activities may be a great one for people to escape a sedentary lifetstyle. From News-Medical.net:

Parents may think at first that spending time with their children is away from their own physical exercise. However, that way they can reduce sitting time and show a good example to their offspring about a physically active lifestyle. This is motivating, and as shown in the study, may be beneficial for health in the long run.

MedicalNewsToday.com quoted the study’s author, Dr. Arto Pesola of the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, as saying, “This study shows that it is possible to reduce the sedentary time of people in a busy phase of life. […] This is important, because sedentary time tends to increase while we age. The effect was most visible during leisure time, where the sedentary time was already lower.”

We’d love to hear your thoughts about this study and how you think Arizonans might be able to reduce their time sitting by 21 minutes per day. Do you have a work routine that includes getting up and moving around throughout the day? Share it with us. Working together to find new ways to drive better health in our state is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

 

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