In a recent study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers found that even a short reduction in daily time spent in lying or sitting could have several cardio-metabolic health benefits for adults.
The beneficial effects could be seen in insulin level, blood lipid and glucose, and body mass index.
The research is from the University of Oulu in Finland. One author is Vahid Farrahi.
During a 24-hour day, people spend their time in sleep, sitting or lying, and doing physical activities. It is already well-established that the optimal amount of sleep for adults is 7-9 hours per night.
Current recommendations for physical activity encourage adults to engage in at least 150 high-intensity physical activities per week such as brisk walking, a workout in the gym, skiing, swimming, or running.
However, adults also spend much of their time during a 24-hour cycle in sedentary activities including sitting and lying, which is recommended to be minimized for better cardio-metabolic health. But how and how much?
The study was part of the Northern Finland birth cohort 1966 program, consisting of 3,443 participants, who underwent a clinical examination and completed extensive health and lifestyle questionnaires at the age of 46 years.
Physical activity and sedentary time were measured with an activity monitor for a period of two weeks.
The team found even 10 minutes less daily time spent in lying or sitting could be beneficial for these people’s cardio-metabolic health.
They suggest that this could be achieved by performing more high-intensity activities, or, based on these novel findings, also with accommodating more light activities on a 24-hour day.
Convenient walking, housework, shopping, cooking, easy gardening, and standing around are all examples of activities usually categorized as light intensity.