A Lancet study comprising of more than 1 million people has found that the health risks associated with sitting for long periods of the day can be reduced or even eliminated by regular physical activity.
The research, using the data of people from the USA, Western Europe and Australia was carried out in response to rising concerns about the health risks associated with society’s shift towards a more sedentary lifestyle. With more and more of the population employed in office based jobs, there’s a greater number of people that cannot escape sitting at their desks for prolonged periods of time.
Physical inactivity is linked to higher risks of diabetes, heart disease and some cancers and is associated with more than 5 million deaths per year.
The good news is that the increased risk of death associated with sitting for 8 hours a day can be reduced or even eliminated for those that did a minimum of 1 hour physical activity (such as brisk walking or cycling) per day.
The findings show that people who sat for 8 hours per day but who are physically active had a much lower risk of death compared to those people who sat for less hours per day, but who were not physically active. The greatest risk to health is for people that sit for long periods of time and inactive.
60-75 minutes of moderate activity is ideal to combat the effects of sitting for long periods of time, but if this is not possible, then at least doing some exercise each day can help reduce the risk.
This study therefore underlines the fundamental importance of physical activity to health, no matter how many hours an individual spent sitting.
The World Health Organisation recommend that adults do 150 minutes of physical activity per week, which is much lower then the 60-75 minutes identified in the study. Rather alarmingly, the need for progress has been highlighted by the study however, as it reveals that only 25% of those people analysed were active for an hour or more each day.
The Lancet Physical Activity Series 2012 http://www.thelancet.com/series/physical-activity
Read more about the impact to health from a sedentary lifestyle in my earlier blog:
“HOW SITTING IS WORSE FOR YOUR HEALTH THAN SMOKING”
One of the biggest fears and doubts that potential students have when I speak to them on the telephone before they sign up for a course, is whether they will “make it” as a personal trainer once they graduate.
Maybe this is what you are thinking right now?
You’ve read the motivational quotes… “If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life” and this idea sounds great. You really want to follow your passion and do something that you love, but what it really comes down to is, “Can I make a career out of training people for money, will clients really pay to train with ME?”
Well, as I said before, I’ve had this conversation with countless students over the years. It is true, many personal trainers do fall by the wayside and never reach their potential within the industry - they maybe didn’t get the results they’d hoped for with their clients, or maybe they struggled to find enough clients...there are many reasons for this, but usually it’s because they chose a certification that cut corners, that only offered the minimum in terms of providing an assessment which didn’t prepare them for the role of a personal trainer once they had their certificate in hand.