Runners have a new reason to analyze how much time they spend sitting in an office chair each day. For that matter, so does everyone else.
A new study calculates that for every hour spent sitting 8% of the health benefits of running that day are lost.
The study from the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center explains how to deduct the negative impact on sitting for runners seeking to increase fitness levels and health benefits.
In effect, running for an hour every morning followed by the standard 10 hours of sitting for the rest of the day equates to an 80% loss of running's health benefits. It diminished the run's hourly benefits down to a mere 12 minutes.
If you are a walker the effect is much worse. Sitting cancels 16% of the beneficial effects of a morning stroll. Walking for an hour would followed by 10 hours of sitting would show a negative impact on the body within the first 6 hours of sedentary time according to the study.
The study is a bit misleading if one takes it on face value. Previous studies have shown that some very negative health issues start percolating when we are sedentary for just 15 minutes regardless of the amount of previous exercise.
The study authors also stressed that any movement, from fidgeting to desk stretches, were beneficial in keeping health risks at bay.
Unfortunately most sedentary workers have limited opportunities for movement or become so preoccupied in their work that hours slip by before realizing they have not moved a muscle.
Science is ringing loud and clear on one main point. Remaining immobile for durations exceeding 15 minutes adds up to some very nasty health outcomes; and sedentary lifestyles are significantly more responsible for rising obesity rates than dietary issues.
The message is simple. Move more during the day. As much as possible whether it is standing to stretch, taking the stairs, parking the car further at the store, or of course considering a treadmill desk.