This Simple Trick Reduces the Health Risks of Sitting

Sitting is horrible for our health. Not only does it drastically increase your risk for obesity and heart disease, but it can cause debilitating back pain and may actually reduce blood flow to your brain. In fact, some people even consider a sedentary lifestyle the new smoking. Yikes.

Up to now, the assumption has been that no amount of exercise or standing can undo the damage caused by the sheer number of hours we spend sitting each day. Not only do many of us have increasingly sedentary jobs, but we’re sitting on our commutes, sitting to eat meals and sitting to watch TV or read after dinner.

As a species, we’re sitting more than ever, and it’s hurting us. But thanks to new research, there may be a solution that allows you to keep you day job without harming your health.

By replacing a mere 30 minutes of sitting with any sort of low-intensity physical activity daily, you may be able to reduce your risk of premature death by around 17 percent. Yep, even a simple stroll through the park comes with benefits—any activity is infinitely better than nothing.

Just another day working in my own personal home office

But here’s where things get really interesting. Up the intensity of that 30 minute interval with something like a high powered, short HIIT workout, and your risk for premature death from sitting-related ailments plummets by a whopping 35 percent.

According to the research, scheduling in some very intense activity instead of scrolling through Instagram in the corner of the break room pays off majorly when it comes to your long-term health.

How to Sneak Activity into Your Workday

The moral is, any sort of physical activity is going to tip the balance of your wellness in the right direction. While knowing that is nice, actually putting that knowledge into sweaty action can be the real challenge. To give you a hand, here are a few easy ways to incorporate more activity into your workdays.

Bike commute.

Instead of sitting in traffic, why not use that commute time to your advantage? If you can bike to work, you’ll definitely boost your mood and fitness, and you’ll also counteract all that sitting you do all day once you get to work.

Walking meetings.

Rather than holding meetings in an office or conference room, why not start taking walking meetings? Not only will you get more exercise, but walking comes with the added benefit of improving creative thinking—meaning you’ll come up with better, more productive ideas!

Everyone will be happy for an excuse to get outside on a nice day anyway.

Confident management team talking while walking

Leave your desk for lunch.

Don’t just stay put when it’s lunchtime. Bring your brown bag to a local park or community space. Even a little bit of walking at lunchtime can yield significant benefits, if you do it regularly.

Set a daily challenge.

If you’re a little more hardcore, set a sit-up or push-up goal for your day. No one is 100 percent productive all the time at work. Use those down moments to fit in 10 push-ups, 20 sit-ups, or a minute long plank. By the end of the day, aim to have achieved 100 sets, or perhaps 10 minutes of planking. It’s a great way to get really fit without sacrificing any of your productive work time.

Ask yourself: how many hours do YOU sit a day? What are some easy ways you could change that? Share your insights with the community in the comments section below. 

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Kevin B
Kevin B1 months ago

thank you for sharing

Paulo R
Paulo R2 months ago


Gloria picchetti
Gloria picchetti3 months ago

"The health risks of sitting!" Just ridiculous.

Danuta W
Danuta W3 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

Amparo Fabiana C
Amparo Fabiana C3 months ago

Up and down. Move, do planks every hour at your office.

Peggy B
Peggy B3 months ago


Kathy K
Kathy K3 months ago


Melanie St Germaine

I get up and walk around more than I used to.

Val P
Val P3 months ago


Ben O
Ben O3 months ago