Last Updated on June 2, 2019

We have all heard the same message about exercise over and over. We need to be active. We need to get off the chair and off the couch. We know. We know. YAWN. But do we actually do it?

Do you understand that it might actually mean the difference between life and death?

This is a typical day for most of us. We sit to get to work, we sit at work, we sit at home. We eat dinner and we sit on the couch some more. Eating cookies in bed watching Netflix is nicer than going for a brisk walk up the hill after a long day at work.

But do you understand what that means?

Sure it might be relaxing to open a few beers rather than go out and exercise but you need to STOP.

Start moving. It doesn’t matter what you do, you just have to start. Take a break at work at least every hour… Walk round the office. Get lunch somewhere further than usual. Seriously, take the stairs – you know where they are.

Below is the data stuff if you want to read it. If you want to skip it, that’s fine too. Just trust me. The take home message is just get off your backside. It might not sound polite but it might just save your life. Start with a few minutes a day and build up.

Now, for those who want the data:

A large analysis (of multiple different studies that were pooled together called a meta-analysis) of sitting versus the risk of death have shown that the longer you sit, the higher the risk of dying, though this is offset by time spent undertaking physical activity. One model estimated up to a 34% higher risk of dying for adults sitting more than 10 hours per day, after taking physical activity into account.

Another analysis  demonstrated an increased risk of a lot of different problems, including overall risk of dying (24%), dying of heart disease (18%), dying from cancer (18%) and getting diabetes (an unsurprising 90%).

The video below is a nice explanation of some of the mechanisms of why this might be the case…

For help with increasing your activity, visit my other website about lifestyle and health.


PLoS One. 2013; 8(11): e80000.

Ann Intern Med. 2015 Jan 20;162(2):123-32. doi: 10.7326/M14-1651.

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