A recent analysis of more than 1 million people found that being inactive is known to increase risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers, as well as CAUSING MORE DEATHS THAN SMOKING - this is irrespective of your body weight too. So if you are not overweight this doesn't offset this risk!
Sitting for a long time every day as well as being inactive carries the greatest risk. This is the case for many people we see in the clinic, living in Wicklow but commuting daily to Dublin.
Thankfully there are plenty of simple changes you can make:
1. Watch less television - watching tv for more than 3 hours per day is associated with premature death for everyone except the very active. Researchers think this might be because people tend to snack more when they are watching television, or it might reflect a more sedentary lifestyle in general.
2. Take a lunch-break! In our online survey, we found that 40% of people don't leave their desk for their lunch. This adds to the total amount of sitting time per day, and also misses out on the opportunity to get some exercise. Try getting away from your desk to eat, and then going for a walk afterwards. Not only will it help your health, it will most likely improve your productivity on your return.
3. Exercise - the guidelines are that you can offset the risks of being inactivy by 1 hours moderate exercise per day (such as swimming, walking, cycling, jogging). This to many will be unmanageable, so if you are someone who sits for longer than 8 hours per day it is especially important to fit regular exercise into your week.
4. Do what you can! - something is better than nothing, and any activity you do will improve your general health.