Social Isolation From The Pandemic Makes Sitting Damage More Likely:
So the coronavirus pandemic has affected us all in many ways.
From self-quarantine & isolation, to social-distancing & facemasks,
It’s changed a lot about life all over the world.
And although we’ve done a good job of adapting, things are still weird.
One of the stranger things we’re faced with is a product of that isolation and also remote work.
But luckily enough, science has found a solution to the health-destroying effects of long-term sitting…
The Short Answer:
- The coronavirus pandemic has shut down a lot of things and changed our lives.
- We may not realize some of the things we’re doing differently, especially with remote work.
- Isolation and fewer social opportunities mean less reason to get out of your chair.
- Sitting for long periods is actually terrible for your health.
- It can increase your risk of early mortality by 40% in just over a decade.
- Remote work may mean less movement during the most sedentary portion of the day.
- The WHO conducted a meta-analysis on the health outcomes of sedentary vs. active people.
- It was based on more than 44,000 subjects across 14.5 years.
- What makes it distinct, is its basis on activity-tracker data instead of self-reported surveys.
- The data shows that people who sit for long periods but do 30-40 minutes of exercise per day have the same mortality risk as more active people.
- Moderate to vigorous cardio is the best type for health.
- But any exercise or movement is better than nothing.
- These study results come at a great time when we all need a little reminder to keep moving.
Read on to find out the details…
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So we’ve talked about the perils of sitting before.
It looks like sitting 6 hours a day can raise your risk of early-mortality by 40% within 15 years.
It seems to do all kinds of terrible things like changing your body chemistry,
And lowering your metabolism so that you get even fatter.
The rates of cardiovascular disease also go up to 2x that of people who have jobs involving more standing or physical activity.
This may be due to changes in cholesterol and insulin or insulin-sensitivity.
The big problem with this is that during the pandemic, people with “Isolation Mentality” may not be standing up or even moving enough.
They might even be doing it less than they would at an office, because there’s nobody at a different workstation there to speak to or collaborate with.
So people might be sitting at home during Remote Work even more than at the office.
Therefore, their problems could be worse.
Well, in-addition to the mega-post we did on “Office Fatigue” and how to fix it over here,
Science has some great study results that just came in!
So in a meta-analysis of more than 44,000 subjects across 4 countries, and over the course of 14.5 years,
The WHO Guidelines Group found that sedentary people who exercised the magic number of 30-40 minutes per day,
Had the same rate of mortality as people who did not sit for long periods at all.
What’s even better is that these results come from Real Data!
These were not self-reported studies, but instead drew their numbers exclusively from subjects who wore activity-trackers!
Though this activity would be optimal if it were moderate to vigorous cardio,
Really any activity at all will suffice!
Public health officials these days are flat-out begging people to do any kind of movement they can.
And no this study is not part of the fitness-tracker conspiracy,
It was carried out by 40 scientists across 6 different countries;
Who are not members of SPECTRE as far as we can tell.
So fitness geeks, gym rats, aerobicizers and now scientists have been nagging you to exercise forever.
Well, now you have another guideline that’s supported by hard data.
And despite some earlier work that suggested you couldn’t recover from excessive sitting,
The recent work gives us both hope and encouragement at just the right time.
So get out there and fight that early mortality risk with some exercise, especially during a tough time when we could all use a healthy goal!
• Source: U.Sydney/WHO
• Source Study: BMJ.SportsMed – Joint associations of accelero-meter measured physical activity and sedentary time with all-cause mortality: a harmonised meta-analysis in more than 44 000 middle-aged and older individuals