May 02, 2012 / Michael M. Siegel, MD
Photo Credit: Anna Raff, New York Times
A recent article in the New York Times that talks about the dangers of our sedentary lifestyles caught my eye. It points out that even those who get regular exercise are at risk for serious health problems if they spend long stretches of time watching television or in front of a computer screen.
In one study of 250,000 Americans, those who watched seven hours of television a day had a much higher risk of premature death than those who sat in front of the television less often. But what is even more surprising is that within that group, those who exercised in addition to their seven hours of television still were more likely to die prematurely than the small group who worked out seven hours a week and watched less than an hour of TV a day. The implication is that exercising is not enough if you are sedentary for a majority of the time.
I know many of us work long hours sitting in front of a computer, and that is tough to change, but try making it a point to get up from your desk at least once an hour to walk around your office or take the stairs to the next floor for a quick break. Find a partner in crime with whom you can take walks on your lunch break. And when you aren’t at work – don’t get stuck in front of that television for long!
Do you have tips for staying active throughout the day? Share them in the comments!