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Sitting down all day knocks years off your life

sedentary lifestyle knocks years off life expectancyA rather scary conclusion has been drawn this week by the scientific community: sitting down for more than three hours a day could cut off around two years from your life expectancy.

In addition to that, research shows that watching more than two hours of TV a day will reduce it by yet another year.

Even the moderate exercise the government urges us all to enjoy every day – 30 minutes of brisk walking or the equivalent of – isn’t enough, according to lead author of the research study, Dr Peter T Katzmarzyk, who said: “Just because you’re doing 30 minutes of physical activity, what about the other 23.5 hours. Don’t just sit the rest of the day.”

Previous research shows that living a sedentary lifestyle can lead to a whole host of physical problems, from cancer and diabetes to back and joint problems.

Of course, few of us have a choice in the matter, especially when millions of us make our livings from sitting behind desks all day.

The solution? Aside from coaxing your bosses into spending thousands on treadmill desks, the only options for leading a slightly more active lifestyle with a desk job is to:

  • Get up every hour and sprint up and downstairs or walk briskly up and down the corridor (keeping health and safety in mind, of course).
  • Take a brisk 15 minute walk during you lunch break.
  • Stretch your arms in the air regularly to relieve any stress in your shoulders.
  • Pay attention to your abs, even when you’re sitting down. Pull your belly in to activate the muscles and try to keep them activated all day to improve your pelvic floor and posture.
  • Invest in a small mini-exerciser to keep under your desk. You can use this to pedal with your feet or take it up onto the desk to work your arms.
  • Make sure you plan something active for after work, such as a brisk walk, jog, swim or sport.

Keeping as active as possible could add years to your life and prevent injury and illness.

To find out about different therapies available to treat physical problems, please visit our Therapy Topics section.

Do you have a special trick for keeping active at work? Please feel free to share in the comment box below.

View and comment on the original Guardian article.

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Zoe Thomas

Written by Zoe Thomas

Written by Zoe Thomas

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