A recent study has found that nearly half of Americans sit for too many hours a day and don’t get any exercise at all, as it appears the USA is turning into a sedentary couch potato nation.

Over 5,900 American adults were surveyed, and the findings showed that nearly 26% sat for more than 8 hours a day, 11% sit for more than 8 hours a day and are physically inactive, and 45% don’t get any moderate or vigorous exercise during the week.

Sedentary lifestyles increase the risks for heart disease, high blood pressure, and early death explains Dr. Emily Ussery, who points out that sitting itself is not bad, but rather a proxy for not getting enough physical activity. Ussery is the lead author and an epidemiologist at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, which is a part of the CDC.

Understandings of the health hazards of excessive sitting are improving, although all of the reasons why prolonged sitting is unhealthy are still not known; large muscles are deactivated when people sit, and this can have a host of metabolic consequences that seem to be harmful.

Most experts agree that more and better efforts are needed to get people off of the couch and moving, programs that increase physical activity and reduce sitting may be effective at reducing health risks for many conditions.

Within the USA over the past quarter century, the three leading causes of premature death are tobacco use, poor diet, and lack of physical activity, according to Dr. David Katz, who goes on to explain as smoking declines, poor diet and lack of exercise are becoming the leading cause of early death and chronic disease. Katz is director of the Yale University Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center.

Many people sit for most of the day, and not just for work, most of these people do little actual exercise. 1 in 10 will miss out on the benefits of exercise and intermittent daily motion; simply standing up and moving around will decrease sitting time which will be more beneficial to health. There is a menu of options available to increase movement ranging from standing and treadmill desks, walking to meetings or parking further, taking the stairs, to chairs that involve constant motion. Physical activity is about finding opportunities to add movement throughout the day which will contribute to a healthy lifestyle.

Within America sedentary lifestyles cause 10% of early deaths; if 25% of inactive people got the recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week nearly 75,000 premature deaths could be prevented.

Regular physical activity can improve brain health, reduce the risk of 8 different forms of cancer, and lower the risk for excess weight gain and attributed risks; while single bouts of physical activity can sharpen the mind, reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, improve sleep, and strengthen the ability of the body to convert blood sugar into energy.

Many chronic health conditions can be improved with physical activity such as osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, obesity, type 2 diabetes, anxiety, and depression. According to the new edition of the U.S Physical Activity Guidelines For Americans any amount of physical activity, even 2 minutes worth at a time, can add up to huge health benefits.

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.

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