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Office workers at risk of early death if they don't exercise

By Faeza
02 August 2016


New research has suggested that people need to partake in an hour of moderate exercise daily to combat the dangerous effects of sitting at a desk all day.

Working 9 to 5 is the norm for people all around the world, as is being tied to your desk from the minute you walk into your office until you clock out. But following a nearly 20 year study by British scientists, it’s been discovered that sitting down for that long can have disastrous implications for health and even lead to early deaths.

The Cambridge University team reported that nearly 90,000 unnecessary deaths a year are cause by the pandemic of inactivity, stemming from desk jobs.

Lead researcher Professor Ulf Ekelund and his team looked at research on more than a million adults, and found that sitting for eight hours a day could increase the risk of premature death by up to 60 per cent.

The team state that a sedentary lifestyle now poses as great a risk to our health as smoking, and can lead to heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes and dementia.

Results have been published in the Lancet. It was also found that the average person spends three hours watching TV when they get home. This has led to 37 per cent of British adults spending less than 30 minutes a day on their feet.

The NHS recommends adults aged between 19 and 64 need to be active daily, and complete 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise every week, plus strength exercises at least twice a week.

“For (office-based) people in particular, we cannot stress enough the importance of getting exercise, whether it’s getting out for a walk at lunchtime, going for a run in the morning or cycling to work,” Professor Ekelund said.

“There has been a lot of concern about the health risks associated with today’s more sedentary lifestyles. An hour of physical activity per day is the ideal, but if this is unmanageable, then at least doing some exercise each day can help reduce the risk.”

He adds getting up hourly and taking five minutes to walk around is beneficial.

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