Sitting Too Much Diminishes Fitness Level
No matter how much you may exercise, sitting for long periods of time reduces fitness, finds study.
No matter how much you may exercise, sitting for long periods of time reduces fitness, according to a study published by the Mayo Clinic.
Designed to clarify how sedentary time impacts fitness level, this study used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which uses surveys to assess the health of the general U.S. population. More than 2,200 “healthy” adults participated in the study, completing a survey and providing detailed information about their physical activity levels. Participants underwent a treadmill test to measure their fitness level and wore an accelerometer for seven days to provide information about physical activity and sedentary time.
After analysis, researchers found that the negative effect of sitting for 6-7 hours was similar to the beneficial effect of 1 hour of exercise on fitness. In other words, sedentary time has the opposite effect on fitness as physical activity.
It’s already well-established that fitness is closely associated with health and longevity. The more physically fit individuals are, the more likely they are to live a longer, healthier life. Based on this study, it’s likely that individuals with little physical activity and too much sedentary time have the lowest fitness levels, putting them at increased risk for health problems down the road. Authors believe that by not only increasing physical activity but reducing time spent sitting, individuals can help increase their fitness level and improve overall health.
Questions for You to Consider
- What is fitness?
- In general, fitness refers to being physically sound and healthy as a result of regular exercise. There are three kinds of fitness, including aerobic (strengthening the heart and lungs), muscle strengthening (building muscle) and flexibility (stretching the muscles). Finding a balance between the three to achieve the best possible fitness is important for good health.