What does ‘sedentary’ mean and why is it so bad?
Sitting or lying down (when you’re awake) are what we call sedentary behaviours.
Unfortunately, many of us tend to do a lot of this when we’re staring at the TV, computer monitor or other screens, when we’re driving and when we’re studying.
Sedentary behaviours are associated with poor health outcomes, even if you exercise regularly. Sedentary behaviours are known to increase the risk of obesity, some cancers, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
It’s almost impossible to avoid sitting completely but we can minimise the total time we spend sitting each day, and make sure we always break up long periods of sitting.
How much do I need to move?
Regardless of your total sitting time, breaking up your sitting with standing and walking may help reduce the risk of disease.
Ideally, we should avoid sitting for more than half an hour at a time. Even short bouts of activity go a long way – if you sit for work, you could aim to stand up for a couple of minutes every half hour or walk outside or around the office for as little as two minutes.
Our tips section has some simple ways you can move more and sit less throughout your day.
I already move a lot. Can this still help me?
It is possible for us to be both active and sedentary; a person can do the recommended daily amount of exercise but still spend a large part of their day sitting or lying down.
Sitting for prolonged periods each day, no matter what else we do, is not good for us. Taking short, regular breaks from sitting can help.
It’s good to be active, it’s even better to be active and not sit for long period, but aim for best, be active, don’t sit for long periods and move throughout your day!
Is prolonged standing just as bad as prolonged sitting?
Standing for long periods of time can cause sore feet, swollen legs, general muscular aches, lower back pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulders.
Ideally, we should aim to move more and use a variety of positions – a balance of sitting, standing and walking.
How can individuals get involved with Move More, Sit Less?
There’s no cost to becoming part of the Move More, Sit Less campaign – the only thing it will cost you is a better quality of life!
Keep checking back here for new information and tips on how you can move more and sit less throughout your day. A great way to get involved is to like, share and tweet your personal experiences of moving more and sitting less on social media using the #movemoreaust handle.
How can employers get involved with Move More, Sit Less?
By partnering with us, you can help your employees enjoy a better quality of life with even small reductions in the amount of time spent sitting at work – without a loss in productivity. Check out the workplace section of our website for practical tips, including implementing a move more policy, how to create a more active workplace and active transport suggestions.