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New study finds 20 minutes of exercise a day balances out the harms of sitting

In a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine on Tuesday, researchers

discovered that just 22 minutes of daily exercise at a moderate to vigorous intensity level

could counteract the adverse effects of extended periods of sitting. Furthermore, the

researchers observed that as an individual's activity level increases, the risk of premature

death from any cause decreases.

Edvard Sagelv, the lead author of the study and a researcher at The Arctic University of

Norway, explained to NBC that the current health recommendation of 150 minutes of

exercise per week "is sufficient to offset the detrimental health consequences of prolonged

sitting." He also noted, "The remarkable aspect is that we are talking about activities that

slightly increase your breathing, such as brisk walking, gardening, or ascending a hill."

Sagelv and other researchers analyzed data from nearly 12,000 individuals aged 50 or

older, using four datasets from Norway, Sweden, and the United States. Participants wore

motion-tracking devices for at least four days, for 10 hours a day. These individuals were

then monitored for a minimum of two years, with researchers taking medical conditions

into account.

The findings revealed that approximately half of the participants spent 10.5 hours or more

per day in a sedentary state. The research also disclosed that over the last five years, 805

people passed away. Of those who lost their lives, 357 had spent less than 10.5 hours per

day sitting, while 448 individuals spent 10.5 hours or more in a seated position daily.

As many people worry about finding the time for 150 minutes of weekly exercise in their

schedules, Sagelv suggested that it can be more manageable.

"Consider this: only 20 minutes a day is adequate, which means taking a short 10-minute

stroll twice a day, like getting off the bus one stop before your destination on the way to

work and doing the same on your journey back home," Sagelv recommended.

In summary, the new study underscores the importance of incorporating a small amount of

daily activity to prevent health complications and premature death.

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