Do You Exercise? You Might Still Be Considered Sedentary

This is how many of us reason: I work out, therefore I’m not sedentary. And while this logic makes sense, according to an article in the New York Times, it’s not entirely in line with medical research. Being sedentary is defined as participating in activities that require very little movement—think, vegging out in front of the TV, or lying facedown in bed 20 minutes after the alarm goes off. Even activities that are a productive use of your time, such as driving and working on the computer, are considered sedentary. This means that, even if you work out vigorously for two hours each day, the rest of your waking hours could be spent in sedentary mode.

Now you may be thinking: Well, isn’t this just an arbitrary definition of “sedentary?” Who’s to say that two hours of exercising doesn’t make me active? Once again, it all comes back to the research. Long bouts of sitting have been associated with a number of health conditions, including weight gain, diabetes, and even premature death. And here’s the kicker—the associations seem to hold up even if you exercise. The solution? Try to fit in “active” activities throughout the day, rather than concentrating all of your exercise into a single session. For example, instead of taking a long walk at night, take three shorter walks in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Getting an activity tracker might also be helpful; however, you’ll want one that reminds you to stand up and move, rather than one that simply keeps tabs on your total movement.

Source: New York Times

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