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Home » Health

I’m not sedentary. I’m muscularly inactive

Submitted by on Monday, 25 January 2010 No Comment
I've been eeking out just enough minutes of activity to meet the government's fitness recommendations - they're not as demanding as you think - though my gymophobia holds me back on weeks too wet to ride my bike.

I've never claimed to be in great shape, but I thought I was doing enough to keep from keeling over at Boots' high school graduation.

Now, though, I hear that my paltry program might not be enough to carry me to commencement. Some researchers believe that it doesn't matter if you exercise if you're spending a chunk of the rest of your time on your butt. And let me just say that my chair and I are close personal friends. We'll remain so until someone invents a laptop powered by a treadmill.

“Too much sitting is bad for health,” Australian researcher David Dunstan told Bloomberg News recently. “Avoid sitting for prolonged periods and keep in mind to move more, more often.”

Hmm ... I guess my blazing-fast typing skills aren't burning as many calories as I thought.

Though Dunstan's studies looked specifically at TV - his team found that every hour watching increases the risk of premature death due to heart disease by 18 percent - Swedish researchers suggest there are factors other than tube time coming into play.

They believe that any time spent inactive - and my frequent strolls to the coffee pot aren't enough to move me to the "active" category - has an impact. In fact, they don't even like the word "sedentary." Instead, they prefer "muscular inactivity"

Based purely on anecdotal evidence, I know they're right. During the week, when I spend much time desk-bound, I can see an impact. I don't sleep as soundly, and I'm more inclined to get grumpy.

On the weekends, though, when my seat actually stays out of a seat for most of the day, it's a different story. I'm up, I'm moving. I'm doing laundry, cleaning the house and walking to the convenience store simply because I have time for a stroll.

The Swedish researchers suggest freeing yourself from the butt-sitting rut by working more activity into your day. Take a five-minute break between bouts of sedentary work, they advise.

I think I'll give it a try as soon as I have a chance to warn the neighbors that the thumping sound next door is not a wayward earthquake but me doing jumping jacks.

Copyright 2010 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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