Sitting for prolonged periods is a major contributor to an inactive lifestyle and being overweight or obese, according to research.
The negative health impacts of sitting are well documented. Research shows that the more time you spend sitting, the higher your risk of premature death from all causes.
Prolonged sitting has been linked to a variety of health issues, including obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. But there’s good news: the negative effects of sitting can be undone by incorporating regular physical activity into your daily routine, particularly walking.
One study found that for every hour of sitting, adults should walk for at least two minutes at a moderate pace (3 mph) to counteract the harmful effects of sitting. Another study found that taking a brisk 10-minute walk every hour can help to reduce the risk of death from prolonged sitting.
Walking is a simple and easy way to add physical activity to your day. It’s free, requires no special equipment, and can be done anywhere. Plus, it has many benefits beyond countering the negative effects of sitting. It can improve cardiovascular health, strengthen bones and muscles, and boost mood and cognitive function.
Incorporating walking into your daily routine can be as simple as setting reminders to stand up and move every hour or investing in a standing or treadmill desk. Another option is to take a walk during lunch breaks or take the stairs over elevators.
Another great way to make sure you get enough physical activity is to start tracking your steps using a pedometer or a fitness tracker. A goal of 10,000 steps a day is a good starting point, and you can gradually increase your steps as you become more active.
Walking is a great alternative for combating the negative effects of too much sitting. Here are five ways walking can help:
It helps burn calories. Suppose you burn 200 calories by walking one mile (1.6 kilometers). In that case, that’s equivalent to burning 100 calories in an hour of moderate-intensity exercise on a stationary bike or treadmill — even if you don’t change your diet at all!
It helps improve blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. In one study, participants with type 2 diabetes who walked at least 4 hours per week had better blood sugar control than those who didn’t walk as much. The researchers believe that the benefits come from exercise and reduced calorie intake.
Improving cardiovascular health: Walking is a form of aerobic exercise that increases your heart rate and improves the health of your cardiovascular system. It can help to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Boosting mood and cognitive function: Walking has been shown to affect mood and cognitive function positively. It can help reduce stress and anxiety and improve focus and concentration.
Strengthening bones and muscles: Walking is a weight-bearing exercise that helps strengthen bones and muscles. Regular walking can help to prevent osteoporosis and improve muscle tone.
Incorporating regular walking into your day can help to counteract the negative effects of prolonged sitting and improve your overall health and well-being. So, get moving and start reaping the benefits of walking today!