A growing body of evidence tells us we need to move more each day to help prevent chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. In fact, recent studies have suggested that being sedentary for prolonged periods leads to worse health, regardless of how active you are the rest of the time.
Established in 2008, the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project is tracking the health of more than 300,000 participants across the country and gathering updates on any changes through follow-up questionnaires. It aims to learn how physical activity and other lifestyle, genetic and environmental factors over time can affect the risk of cancer and chronic disease.
Incorporating small amounts of physical activity throughout the day can really add up. Just two minutes of walking has been shown to offset some of the negative effects of sitting.
Here are some simple tweaks that can help keep your daily sitting time to a minimum:
• Hold walking meetings with colleagues.
• Take the stairs rather than an elevator when possible.
• Stand up or exercise during commercials when watching TV.
• Consider using a push mower or rake to make yard work a little more physical.
• Set an alarm on your phone or watch as a reminder to stand up and move every hour.
• Wear an activity tracker to help you set and reach a step goal for the day; many researchers consider fewer than 2,000 to 3,000 steps as sedentary.
•Try using a sit-stand desk to spend some of the workday on your feet.