150-300 minutes physical activity offsets the harm from prolonged sitting

What bad food you eat may not matter, if you take enough amount of good food. And, if you sit for prolonged periods (6 or more hours daily), but replace the sitting time with exercise of at least moderate intensity, and with vigorous-intensity exercise, you can reduce the excess cardiovascular (CV) mortality risk.

The excess all-cause and CV mortality risks caused by regular, prolonged sitting is mainly seen in people who achieve less than 150 minutes of physical activity in a week. Those who maintain physical activity 150 to 200 minutes per week can considerably offset this excess risk; 300 minutes per week is even better.

It is not enough to replace sitting with standing. We need to be replacing sitting with movement. Even walking may do the trick in the case of all-cause mortality.

Some way outs

  • Increase physical activity to 150 to 299 min/week, or
  • Reduce sitting time from 8+ to <4 hours/day without increasing moderate to vigorous physical activity, or
  • Increase moderate-to-vigorous physical activity to 150 to 299 min/week and reduce sitting to < 8 h/day.

Lesson: If you have to sit too much, make sure that you find ways to incorporate more moderate to vigorous physical activity into your life.

(Source: Journal of the American College of Cardiology, April 22)

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