Live Longer by Moving More!

posted Jan 29, 2015, 1:56 PM by Walk Strong Calgary   [ updated Jan 29, 2015, 1:56 PM ]
Add Years to Your Life - Take Movement Breaks

Let's face it... we sit... a LOT. Take a day and track it - I bet you'll be surprised at how much time you spend sitting for long periods. More and more studies are showing that prolonged sitting, even for someone who is active, puts you at higher risk for declining health and even early death. In fact, according to Ulf Ekelund of the University of Cambridge, England, "From a public health perspective, it is as important to increase levels of physical activity as it is to reduce the levels of obesity - maybe even more so." Ekelund was involved in a recent study that showed how going from a state of inactivity to adding about 20 minutes of moderate exercise daily reduces the risk of premature death by anywhere from 16-30%.*

Research published this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine takes it a step further where prolonged sitting is concerned. The findings from 47 studies show that even if you go for your morning workout daily, sitting in front of your computer at work without getting up to move a bit every half hour or so still makes you about 16% more likely to die a premature death. Bear in mind that the risks involved in 'sitting time' were independent of other factors such as smoking, obesity, age, and other factors. Bottom line is, if we're not getting up to move, we're increasing our risk of heart disease, cancer, Type 2 diabetes and yes, even early death. Excuse me while I get up and walk around for a few minutes...
As I just demonstrated (and yes, I got up and walked!) adding movement to your day certainly isn't rocket science, and one of the recommendations is to get up and move around for 1-3 minutes every half hour. Just getting up to go look out a window provides benefits. Your circulation increases, you get a mental break, and your eyes get a break by looking off into the distance. My Mom gets up during commercials and putzes around in the kitchen until her show comes back on, and she does it specifically for the benefits of activity. She's been doing that for years. 

Let's get moving! 

- Nancy Ehle is certified under Leslie Sansone's Walk Leader program as well as an ACE Group
  Fitness Instructor. In addition to this site, visit for information on
  more programs that can help get you moving!