Are you a sedentary couch potato? Do this test of two questions to discover:
Did you exercise for 30 minutes this morning?
Did you have the luxury of spending the remainder of the day looking at your computer , only to lay down on the couch in the evening?
If you answered “yes” to both of these questions If you answered yes to both questions, then you are in the criteria of what is known as “an actively couch-topper.” This implies that, despite your efforts to exercise in the gym, you have a tendency to be lazy andcould have a risk of various health issues according to a massive new study that examines how people move or don’t move during the course of their day.
Its study included more than 3700 men and women from Finland and Finland, revealed that the majority of people trained for an hour however, they sat all the time, for 10 or 11 or twelve hours per day. They were the study’s active couch potatoes with their levels of blood sugar, cholesterol, and body fat were all raised.
However, the study revealed also, that both women who arose and moved about just a bit more often whether through gentle strolls or getting more physical activity, were considerably healthier than couch-bound.
The findings suggest that a 30 minute, daily exercise “might not suffice” to reduce the negative effects of sitting for long periods, according to Vahid Farrahi an assistant professor in Oulu’s University of Oulu and lead author of the study.
That is, if we do exercise, but do nothing but sit throughout your day it’s as if we haven’t exercised at all.
The good news is that few easy actions — literally or otherwise — could protect us from becoming a couch pet.
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The dangers of being the sedentary
The World Health Organization and other experts recommend working at a moderate pace for at least 30 minutes every day in the course of the week. Walking for a short distance is considered moderate exercise.
A large amount of scientific research shows that the half hour of exercise boosts our wellbeing, our spirits and livespan. The issue is how we will spend all the rest of 23 hours of the day.
“It’s only been in the past 5 years that people have started to realize how physical exercise doesn’t tell the entire picture,” explained Raija Korpelainen who is a professor of health and exercise within Oulu University of Oulu in Finland and co-author on the new study.
Super-short workouts can be extremely efficient
In the past studies looked at exercise and sitting independently, and tend to minimize or ignore things like jogging to the mailbox or grabbing an extra cup of tea.
For the latest study, revealed in July of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Korpelainen and her co-authors consulted the vast collection of information on nearly each child who was born Northern Finland decades ago. As they grew older, researchers monitored their health and lives and, when they were adults, requested that 3,702 of them wear a fitness tracker that was scientifically graded for at least one week.
The researchers could tell in six-second increments whether a person was sitting walking, strolling lightly or doing some exercise during the day. Since the trackers were measuring movements, standing counts as inactivity, just like sitting. Based on this data they were able to classify people quite bluntly, based on the way they moved.
The active couch potatoes who comprised nearly 1/3 of the people were the ones who sat most and sat for over 10 hours every day. They complied with the recommended guidelines for exercise and logged around 30 minutes in moderate activity. But after this they did not move.rarely moved up, having less than 220 minutes each day of minimal exercise.
Another group also worked out for 30 minutes before sitting for long periods. In between they would rise frequently and walked around. As compared to active couch potato They spent around 40 % more of their timealmost an additional 90 minutes per daywhich is what researchers refer to as “light activities.”
The third group was seated, without interruption, for as long as 10 hours. They also logged around an hour of workout every day.
The last group, which the researchers aptly called “the the movers” performed exactly as they did they did, working out for about an hour on a daily basis as well as moving for two hours longer than the couch potato group.
When the researchers checked these groups with people’s present health information The couch potato who was active were the most affected in blood sugar control body fat percentage, blood sugar control and cholesterol levels.
Other groups are much better off, and to the same extent, having significantly improved cholesterol and blood sugar control levels and 8 percent lower body fat levels than those who ate a lot of couch potatoes even though researchers examined the income, smoking, sleeping habits, and other variables.
Make a few more steps
The takeaway from this study is that, in the midst of a vigorous exercise routine, we should take the time tomove at a moderate pace and frequently cleaning, climbing the stairs, walking around the house, or simply being active, not sitting stationary. The ideal time in the study was about an hour or so of leisurely activity “but any additional activity will be positive,” Farrahi said.
Try to squeeze in more exercise. The study found that participants were able to benefit if they doubled their exercise time to 60 minutes all in all. However, as always, “do what you can,” Korpelainen said. Simply adding 15 or 10 minutes to the daily routine of walking will be beneficial she added even if you can not manage to complete an hour of fitness.
“The aim is to become sitting less often,” explained Matthew Buman, a professor at Arizona State University in Tempe who studies metabolism and movement but wasn’t in the study. “We can all decide on the best way to achieve this.”
Exercise improves brain function — and improves mental health
The study has its some limitations. It only examines people’s lives at a particular moment in time. The study also included Finns mostly Caucasians and all moderately active, which may not represent all of us and also did not include a totally highly sedentary group.
But, “it should nudge us to consider how we use your time” Buman said, and maybe rethink our spaces and lives so that we are more mobile. “Try to put the recycling bins and printer in a different room,” he suggested, “so you’ll have to walk up to the area.”
“I would like to remind myself to check in and check at the windows often,” Farrahi said. “The solutions do not have to be difficult,” he continued. “Keep things simple. Make sure you move more whenever you are able and in ways you like.”
Have a question about fitness? Email [email protected] and we may answer your question in a future column.
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