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Get up off Your…!

Posted on: Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Categories: Exercise, Fitness, Personal trainer

Historically, we have seen a shift in working lives becoming less physical and increasingly sedentary. Gone are the days of the whole village working together to bring in the harvest. Now it is much more common for your average worker to spend the whole day in an office followed by a few hours in front of the telly when they get home. Even though we are bombarded with health messages through the media unfortunately, having a physically inactive lifestyle is the norm especially in the west. Getting to work or school is more often than not by car and with the rise in congestion sitting in traffic jams is a common problem. Once we get to work, many jobs involve vast amounts of time sitting in front of a computer and our leisure time often involves surfing the net, playing computer games or watching TV.

An average adult spends between 50 and 70 per cent of their time sat down and obviously, there are health risks associated with having a physically inactive lifestyle as shown by a glut of research.

Research as far back as the 1950’s showed that London bus drivers were twice more likely to have a heart attack than their more physically active bus conductors and we now know that people who spend most of their day sitting or lying down would be healthier if they moved more.

A recent analysis of 18 studies has shown a strong link between sitting for prolonged periods of time and health risks particularly diabetes. The study was published in Diabetologia which is the journal of the European Association of the Study of Diabetes and it collated research that involved nearly 800,000 people. Various measures were used in the individual studies analysed such as comparing a group of subjects who sat down for less than 3 hours a day with those sitting down for more than 8 or those who watched less than 14 hours of TV a week compared with those who watched more than this. Because of this variety the scientists at Loughborough and Leicester universities have found it difficult to pinpoint the specific amount of sedentary time that has negative health effects. However, Dr Emma who headed the research found it was obvious that the subjects who sat more than others were at a 147% greater risk of cardiovascular disease, had a 112% more chance of developing diabetes and were 49% more likely to die than those who spent less of their day sitting down. The strongest correlation was between sitting down and diabetes in that inactivity has a negative effect on glucose levels and increases resistance to insulin.

Furthermore, health outcomes are much more positive if a worker with a desk job exercises in their spare time. This is encouraging for people at high risk of suffering from Type 2 diabetes such as obese people, those with South Asian ethnic routes or with a family history of diabetes.

Many people are aware of the dangers of a lack of inactivity and try to make amends by exercising more. Because it is difficult to find the time for an effective regime many are turning to mobile personal training. A highly qualified personal trainer will be aware of time constraints and will design a bespoke regime in order to gain maximum results in the shortest time possible. Working out has enormous health benefits and is certainly better than spending spare time in front of the TV, but too much time sitting down is still bad for you. Dr Emma Wilmot warned that there is a danger of people thinking that they are exercising enough if they do half an hour a day, but the other 23.5 hours are just as important. Not only will Personal Trainers guide their clients through a regime that ensures they exercise for the perfect amount of time and at the correct level of intensity, they can also create a routine to be carried out between training sessions. Furthermore, Personal Trainers will also be able to offer tips for increasing activity levels during an office based working day.