A study conducted by Northwestern University’s Feinberg Medical School reveals that merely working out most days of the week may not be enough to keep disability and even early death at bay.
For the study, Professor Dorothy Dunlap and her team analyzed the activity monitors of 2,300 60-year-olds; they found that for every extra hour spent sitting, the risk of disability doubled. Disability as defined by the study is having difficulty with day-to-day tasks, such as bathing and dressing.
The bottom line is this: if you have a sedentary job, you need to find ways to get up and move throughout the day.
Several months ago, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette interviewed a fitness trainer who was a bit more specific — his suggestion? Aim for 70 minutes of movement per day by working out for 35 minutes, then moving around throughout the day for an additional 35 minutes.
Wearing a pedometer also helps; to maintain fitness, experts advise 10,000 steps (five miles) per day; shoot for 12,000 if you want to lose weight. Pedometers are a good way to keep track of your activity throughout the day. Keep in mind that in order to fit that many steps in per day, you’ve got to formally exercise for at least half an hour.
Another way to add activity to your day (beyond your workout) is to get up during every commercial break when you are watching television in the evening. Did you know that during a 60 minute television show each commercial break lasts an average of 4 minutes? That’s a good snippet of time to tidy up the house, clean the kitchen, or jump on the treadmill. By the end of the hour, you will rack up at least 16 minutes of movement.