To sit or not to sit…

Is sitting for long periods of time bad for your health as long as you exercise?

Truth: Preliminary evidence through several research studies has begun to emerge suggesting that long, uninterrupted periods of sedentary behavior (i.e. sitting for hours watching TV) may be bad for people’s heath even if they engage in regular, structured physical activity. Australian researchers at the Heart and Diabetes Institute at the University of Queensland determined that longer than average bouts of sitting and lying down are associated with a higher percentage of body fat in women.

What You Can Do: While more research is needed in this area, the take-home message is to try to be as active as possible whenever you can — in addition to your regularly scheduled workouts. Some examples of easy ways to add more movement to your day include taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking further away from the entrance to the grocery store, walking instead of driving whenever possible, taking a 10 minute stretching break at work, and playing with your kids in the yard. As you go through your day, keep in mind that every step really does count.

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