While increasing attention has been paid to the detrimental effects of overall sedentary behaviour in recent years, new research from the University of South Australia shows that long periods spent sitting can be combatted with moderate physical activity.
Published in the international journal Obesity, the study shows a desk job won’t put you at risk of obesity and associated health problems as long as you exercise.
“The nice thing about these results is that people with desk jobs can be reassured that as long as they are doing a bit of activity, their desk job isn’t putting them at risk of obesity,” Dr Maher says.
“And our results suggest the amount of physical activity needed is actually very achievable.”
“We found that low physical activity was a strong predictor of obesity. People who had low levels of physical activity were up to four times more likely to be overweight or obese than people in the moderate and high activity groups, while sedentary time was unrelated to being overweight.
Dr Maher says the amount of activity needed is ‘achievable’.
“Small differences in daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity of just five to 10 minutes were associated with relatively large differences in the risk of obesity.”