Swapping sitting for standing could lower risk of early death

A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology has found replacing 30 minutes of sedentary time for 30 minutes of light physical activity could lead to a longer life.

Here’s what you need to know.

The study

The study looked at data from 7,999 people aged 45 and older who used activity monitors between 2009 and 2013 to track their sedentary time.

Researchers then used this data to analyse the benefits which could be gained if sedentary time was replaced with physical activity.

According to certified exercise physiologist and Assistant Professor of Behavioural Medicine at Columbia University, Keith Diaz, simply replacing 30 minutes of sitting for 30 minutes of light-intensity physical activity (for example, a casual stroll down the hall at work or home) could lower a person’s risk of premature death.

Researchers found a 17 per cent drop in lower mortality risk in those who replaced sedentary time with physical activity.

“Obviously, it doesn’t lower your risk as much as exercise, or as much as moderate to vigorous physical activity, but it still can lower risk, and to us, that was somewhat of a new finding,” Assistant Professor Diaz said.

“Any movement for any length of time is going to give you health benefit, and this is really shifting what we know about physical activity.”

The team behind the study said they hoped the findings encouraged people to become more active in their daily routine.

“You don’t have to take 10 minutes break and go run up and down the stairs,” Assistant Professor Diaz said.

“If you take a one-minute movement break and instead of going to the bathroom closest to your desk, you go to the bathroom furthest from your desk, maybe that’s enough to help you accrue this healthful activity.”


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