Exercise redefined? Let’s find out what the WHO has to say about it!
The fact that sitting has a bad reputation is no news. Research suggests that sitting for more than 10 hours a day increases the risk of heart disease and death. Since lots of people are working from home due to the lockdown, the WHO decided to update its guidelines for physical activity.
How much should we exercise?
It is advised for adults to exercise moderately between 150 and 300 minutes a week –i.e.: 30 to 60 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Moderate exercise means 5 or 6 out to 10 effort level, but if you do not have enough time, you could increase the effort and exercise for 75 to 150 minutes a week.
Is sitting so unhealthy?
The answer is no, it isn’t, it is normal. But the fact that we lead a sedentary life and we seldom do exercise is a problem. Therefore it is paramount for us to exercise to lead a healthier life.
WHO’s guidelines to offset the dangers of a sedentary life
Any amount of exercise is better than none. The previous edition recommended bouts of exercise that lasted at lasted at least 10 minutes, but new research suggests that any physical activity is worth doing –even moderate exercise such as walking, gardening or dancing from 10 minutes to an hour a day lowers up to 18% the risk of death.
It is better to include different types of exercise. You can include anything from stretching to balance workouts. Any type of movement has the potential to offset the risks of sitting.
Limiting the time you spend sitting is itself a way to fight off the dangers of a sedentary life. People who worked out for 11 minutes a day but sat for 8.5 a day, had the same reductions in risk as the ones who did 35 minutes but sat 10 hours a day.
Adults should perform muscle-strengthening activities at least twice per week. Weight lifting increases bone density and muscle quality and strengthens the nervous system. This is also recommended for adults of 65 and older –it helps the body control coordinated motor activity and prevents injuries from falling once people age.
The bottom line is that exercise is no longer considered running for hours or working out for countless hours. You can try including some stretching exercises or dancing to your favorite song in your lunchtime and you’ll be lowering the risks caused by a sedentary life.
Here are some ideas!