LONDON (AP)— If you spend all day sitting on your rear end, then you might want to schedule some time for a brisk walk—just make sure you can spare at least an hour.
Scientists analyzing data from more than 1 million people found that it takes about 60 to 75 minutes of “moderate intensity” exercise to undo the damage of sitting for at least eight hours a day. Not exercising and sitting all day is as dangerous as being obese or smoking, they found.
And the added risk of parking yourself in front of a television for 5 hours or more a day after sitting at the office is so high even the hour of exercise is not enough to reverse the damage.
“We cannot stress enough the importance of getting exercise, whether it’s getting out for a walk at lunchtime, going for a run in the morning or cycling to work,” said Ulf Ekelund of the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences in Norway, one of the study authors, in a statement.
It has been long suspected that sitting a lot, at work or at home, is not healthy. Previous studies have found that prolonged sitting can raise the chances of heart disease, various cancers and an earlier death.