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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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