Move It or Lose It
Move It or Lose It (Your Life)
Think you can sit at your desk or on the couch all day and counteract it with exercise? Think again. Even
people who exercise are putting their health – in fact, their lives – at risk by not moving enough, and it may
not be a simple question of sitting too much.
In a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers evaluated sedentary time for one week
by requiring that study participants wear accelerometers, which tracked activity levels. They then grouped
participants based on activity, generating four groups. Members of the least sedentary group spent about 11
hours sitting and standing, while the most sedentary spent about 13 hours sitting / standing. Researchers also
grouped participants based on how frequently they took movement breaks, which ranged from every 7.7
minutes to 12.4 minutes or longer.
People who remained sedentary for the longest amount of
time per day and sat the longest without moving were twice as likely to die during the four-year tracking
period compared to the least sedentary people who also took movement breaks the most often. The study
didn’t say that lack of movement caused death, but that people who didn’t move enough were more likely to
die. Of course, we all know ample research connects exercise / movement with longevity, so although no
direct association could be made, it’s easy to speculate that not moving could have the opposite effect.