Research has long proven that one’s occupational activity level is closely related to health and mortality rates. For those whom sit at a desk all day, posture is only one aspect of physical health that suffers. The activity level required by an occupation has been researched for the negative or positive implications of increased or decreased activity requirements. However, it appears that there is hope for those who’s work would be categorized as sedentary in nature. Engaging in an hour or more of physical activity can eliminate the negative associations produced by sitting for eight or more hours a day. This is important because recently sitting for three hours or more per day was linked to being responsible for 3.8 percent of all-cause mortality deaths.
In a culture where sitting is the norm, it’s frightening to see that nearly five million people die globally each year due to not meeting the recommended physical activity recommendations. Currently the exercise recommendations are 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week. However, an international team of researchers analyzed 16 popular studies making up more than one million women and men and found a different recommendation. For those who sit on average eight hours a day, the recommended regimen is 60 to 75 minutes of moderate intensity exercise. Therefore, five days a week of sitting for eight hours a day will require 300 to 375 minutes of moderate intensity exercise. This level of physical activity will eliminate the negative health consequences of prolonged sitting.
Naturally, those whom have a sedentary lifestyle and also spend a large amount of time sitting in the workplace are at the greatest risk. Limitations for the study exist. Some to mention were that participants were 45 years and older and lived in western Europe, the United States, and Australia. One limitation that should also be noted is that these recommendations haven’t been tested. The group of researchers required the studies that were analyzed to reanalyze their data. Although this can avoid misinterpretations of the findings, the conclusion about the recommended activity levels to combat sedentary occupations hasn’t been tested. In other words, another study must be conducted on subjects who sit on average 6-8 hours a day but exercise for the minimum amount of time to decrease or eliminate the corresponding health consequences.
I chose this article because it highlights the necessary changes that must be made for our culture to improve its health. The workplace has been geared towards productivity and the “workaholic” has become a commonplace expectation. Eight hour days for five days a week is the minimum commitment. With technology advancing, and the internet technology field growing, it’s foreseeable that greater occupations that require sitting behind a desk are on the rise. New regulations for workplace breaks and health benefits should be mandated. Greater emphasis on activity levels outside of the workplace should become a concern of companies whom employ these types of positions.
University of Cambridge. (2016, July 27). An hour of moderate exercise a day enough to counter health risks from prolonged sitting. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2016 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160727194405.htm