Those with sedentary jobs have been advised that an hours brisk exercise per day is needed to combat the risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

The study by Lancet took place studying the lives of over 1 million participants prior to the Rio Olympics.

Inactivity has been shown to increase the risk of serious health issues such as heart conditions, diabetes and cancer.

5.3 million deaths globally are linked with inactivity per year - which is more than smoking.

Workout at Work

The Lancet research said the global cost for healthcare and lost productivity, is estimated at $67.5 billion per year.

Researchers led by Prof Ulf Ekelund, of the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences and the University of Cambridge went back to 13 previous studies of inactivity and asked them to reanalyse their data.

The study group was divided into levels of activity, from the least active being 5 minutes, to the most active which was around 60-75 minutes.

They then followed up with participants between 2 and 14 years and assessed the death levels.

Those who sat for 8 hours a day, but were otherwise physically active were less at risk of premature death than those who sat for fewer hours per day, but were less physically active outside of that.

The death rate of those who sat for at least 8 hours per day and completed less than 5 minutes of physical exercise was 9.9%.

The death rate of those who sat for at least 8 hours per day but completed at least an hour of exercise had a reduced rate of 6.2%.

The researchers urged employers to make it easier for workers to exercise at work, providing gyms and encouraging longer breaks.

Prof Ulf Ekelund said: “For many people who commute to work and have office-based jobs, there is no way to escape sitting for prolonged periods of time.

For these people in particular, we cannot stress enough the importance of getting exercise, whether it's getting out for a walk at lunchtime, going for a run in the morning or cycling to work.

An hour of physical activity per day is the ideal, but if this is unmanageable, then at least doing some exercise each day can help reduce the risk."

Current recommendations by the NHS are to complete just 1.5 hours of activity per week.

As Ekelund admitted: "One hour's moderate activity is substantially higher than current recommendations."

The researchers also looked at a sub group and explored the dangers of too much television.

Watching television for more than 3 hours a day saw an increase in death risk, which research suggested was due to the lifestyle factors associated with watching television, such as mindless eating.

See how Sundried target office inactivity.

  • Posted byVictoria Gardner /
  • EHOH