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How Much Physical Activity Negates a Day of Sitting?

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With the rise in sedentary desk jobs, particularly due to widespread remote work during the pandemic, individuals are spending prolonged periods seated. It’s well-known that extended periods of inactivity are detrimental to both short-term and long-term health, underscoring the importance of incorporating daily physical exercise. But how exactly much physical activity is required to counteract the effects of a day spent sitting?

Research indicates that engaging in a moderate-to-high intensity workout for approximately 30-40 minutes on the same day can effectively offset about 10 hours of sedentary behavior. If this becomes a daily routine, this vigorous physical activity will largely counterbalance the adverse effects of prolonged sitting on your body. For those seeking muscle gains, additional exercise may be necessary, but that’s a separate matter.

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What activities can help counterbalance prolonged sitting? Virtually any form of movement is beneficial as long as it involves getting up and being active. Opt to use stairs instead of the elevator, take a leisurely walk with your pet or family, complete household chores, or even engage in a small dance routine. While jogging or biking are excellent choices, they may not always be feasible due to time, space, or equipment constraints. If time management is an issue, you don’t have to commit to the full 30-40 minutes all at once; incorporating dynamic movement whenever possible is beneficial. Even standing up from your desk to stretch and move around can have positive effects.

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