A new study finds people who sit less, stand more and are physically active lead a much healthier lifestyle. Those who sit less reduce their risk for chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes, have less pain and a have a better overall quality of life.
Dr. Dermot Phelan of the Cleveland Clinic said "when you exercise you need more blood flow, the heart has to work a little bit harder, but it has a lot more benefit. It dampens down inflammation; it dampens down the risk of depositing plaque in the coronary arteries."
Kansas state university researchers studied the effects of physical activity on nearly 195,000 people ages 45 to 106.
Researchers found higher levels of physical activity and lower levels of sitting time were positively associated with excellent health and quality of life.
Results also show sitting for long periods of time appears to shut off a molecule that helps our bodies use energy it essentially slows our metabolism.
Researchers say even standing up or periodically walking around the workplace or home helps. Anything that contracts our muscles and gets blood flowing can be beneficial.
Phelan recommended a regular exercise regimen that can be easy to fit into most schedules.
He said "30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week" is ideal and for those who can't head to the gym it is still easy to fit in.
Phelan said the routine "doesn't mean that we have to go to the gym for 30 minutes in the day. Just a brisk walk and we don't have to do it continuously- even doing 10 minutes three times a day will work."
Researchers recommend sedentary office workers try a sit/stand desk to decrease the time they're sitting down.