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Sedentary Behavior Shortens Lives

Posted Jan 20 2010 12:00am
We've all heard that inactivity is bad for us, but a new study profiled by the New York Times tells us just how bad. According to the study, "each daily hour of television viewing was associated with an 18 percent increase in deaths from heart disease and an 11 percent increase in overall mortality" over the six and a half years that participants were observed.

The study was published in the online edition of "Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association."

For me, the real wake-up call from this study is that it didn't matter if participants were overweight. As the study's lead author said, "Even if someone has a healthy body weight, sitting for long periods still has an unhealthy influence on blood sugar and blood fats."

For workplace wellness professionals, this new study underscores the need for frequent breaks and planned physical activity at work. Although it may feel more "productive" to spend the entire day staring at your computer monitor, I know I actually get more done when I take frequent breaks.

So how do you encourage your employees to schedule time for movement every day? Do you organize walking meetings, stretch breaks, or something else? Let me know in the comments section below.
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