The risks of sitting too much (and how to combat them)

23 February 2021 Ewan Birnie
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Did you know that Australians sit for almost 10 hours each day?

And what’s particularly alarming about this statistic is that many of the health risks associated with having a sedentary lifestyle will kick in after being sedentary for as little as four hours a day.

Some of the increased health risks include:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Metabolic syndromes
  • A range of bone conditions
  • Poorer mental health

But here’s the good news – we’ve put together a few simple tips on how you can incorporate movement into each day and combat the health risks associated with sitting down all day.

Get moving

It doesn’t need to be a structured exercise in a traditional gym environment. Trying to hit 10,000 steps a day is a great starting point. If you’re stuck for ideas, check out our twenty minute at-home workout.

Pound the pavement

There is strong evidence that walking regularly can reduce a number of risk factors related to a range of conditions. If it’s hard to find 30 minutes for a stroll in the middle of the day, wake up earlier or have a stroll after dinner.

Namaste every day

Yoga is a fantastic option for anyone that has been static for most of the day! One of the best things about yoga is that it can be done anywhere, anytime, and for as little or as long as you like. Taking time to move joints, particularly the hips and shoulders, through their full range of motion can help to address postural issues, remove muscular tension and reduce stress.

Take advantage of tech

There are a range of apps that can be downloaded that help you to complete a workout in the comfort of your own home. Exercise options are more diverse and accessible than they’ve ever been before so there is something for everyone.

Do what works for you

The key to incorporating movement into each day is to find something that matches your abilities and that you enjoy. If it can be integrated into your schedule easily and you don’t dread it, you have a better chance of sticking to it. If you only have a short window, high-intensity interval training is a great way to get fit fast and it has an undeniable positive impact on most health measures. But you can also try doing some weights, trying Pilates, or even just turning up the music and dancing. The main thing is to exercise consistently.

Find time

Exercise every day for at least 30 minutes – no excuses! If you can raise your heart rate even slightly and involve some sort of weight-bearing, then you’re on track to have a positive impact on most key health measures and reverse some of the health issues brought on by long periods of sitting.

Ewan Birnie

Ewan Birnie

National Academic Manager

Ewan is an experienced fitness educator having taught in the field for 12 years in the UK and Australia, as well as working within the industry for over 16 years.  He is passionate about creating and delivering high quality and current learning experiences to fitness students.  His fitness interests lie in working with young athletes, with a history of employment in sports coaching and strength and conditioning in a variety of sports.  He is also a big believer in creating simple and sustainable exercise solutions for the general population that can have a meaningful impact on health and wellbeing.

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