Even exercise cannot undo the health harms caused by leading a sedentary lifestyle, according to a piece of research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2015

Working in an office, for example, which is usually followed by relaxing in a chair or sofa at home, or possibly sitting at a bar or restaurant, means sitting for most of the hours in a day. And that's associated with higher rates of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and death. 

Previously, it was thought that twenty minutes of daily exercise provided a baseline for good health. And while exercise does hedge against the risks associated with inactivity, even individuals who exercise regularly are at higher risk of contracting serious disease if they are in the habit of sitting through most of the day.

 

Dr. Marc BesslerDirector of the Center for Metabolic Surgery at Columbia University Medical Center, explains how lifestyle and diet contribute to weight gain, which greatly affects the overall picture of our health.


Scientists say that exercising for thirty minutes a day a while being at rest for the other twenty three and-a-half simply isn't enough. The first step toward leading a less sedentary life is to count the number of hours you sit each day. Once we start counting, we're more likely to change our behavior, said Dr. David Alter, who led the research.

"Next is setting achievable goals and finding opportunities to incorporate greater physical activity—and less time sitting—into your daily life. For example, at work, stand up or move for one to three minutes every half hour; and when watching television, stand or exercise during commercials."

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