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How Much Exercise Offsets a Day of Sitting?

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How much heat do you need to warm up the engine?

As desk jobs become more prevalent, thanks in no small part to everyone working at home due to the pandemic, people are spending longer stretches of the day on their butts. You probably know already that remaining sedentary like that for many hours at a time isn’t especially good for your health in either the short term of long term, which is why it’s important to get some daily physical activity in. But precisely how much physical activity do you need to offset a day on your butt?

Studies show that the best way to offset around 10 hours of sitting still is to get yourself into a mid-to-high-intensity sweat for roughly 30-40 minutes in the same day. Assuming you make a daily habit of it, that rigorous activity will almost completely balance out any damage long-term sitting does to your body. Of course, if you’re looking for some actual muscular gains, that means you’ll have to do extra exercise on top of all that, but that’s neither here nor there.

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So what kinds of activities can you do to offset that sitting? Well, anything really, as long as it involves getting up and moving around. Take the stairs instead of using the elevator, go for a walk with your pet or family, get some chores done, or even do a little dance. Of course, your best choices will always be jogging or cycling, but you might not have the time, space, or equipment for that. If scheduling is a problem, you don’t have to go for the full 30-40 minutes right off the bat; just try to squeeze some dynamic movement in anywhere you can. Even just standing up from your desk to stretch and move around will do you some good.

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