Avoiding a Sedentary Workday: How Often Should You Be Active?
Too many people are currently living sedentary lifestyles. It's not necessarily their fault, but rather a byproduct of modern life; you sit in your car on the way to work, sit at the office all day, sit in the car on the way home, and sit in front of the TV before laying down for bed.
But these days, health organizations are taking a stand (literally) against the constant-sitting lifestyle.
In fact, last week the American Diabetes Association (ADA) released new, comprehensive guidelines that encourage everyone with diabetes to get more active.
Getting Regular Movement
According to the ADA's recommendations, people with diabetes should be getting light exercise for three or four minutes - such as leg stretches, walking, or simply standing up – every half hour. These new guidelines draw inspiration from a recent study, which found that light exercise every 30 minutes lowered both blood pressure and blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes.
Sheri Colberg-Ochs, lead author on these guidelines and consultant/director of physical fitness for the American Diabetes Association, was straightforward in regarding the importance of physical activity, saying:
"These updated guidelines are intended to ensure everyone continues to physically move around throughout the day — at least every 30 minutes — to improve blood glucose management.
“This movement should be in addition to regular exercise, as it is highly recommended for people with diabetes to be active. Since incorporating more daily physical activity can mean different things to different people with diabetes, these guidelines offer excellent suggestions on what to do, why to do it and how to do it safely."
Fighting The Sitting Epidemic
This is the first time that the ADA has released guidelines intended for both type 1 and type 2 diabetics. According to Dr. Avigdor Dori Arad, a registered dietitian and certified exercise physiologist at Mount Sinai St. Luke's Hospital, this is because of the universal nature of the sedentary lifestyle.
“Sedentary time is a massive issue, an enormous epidemic,” Dr. Arad told the New York Daily News. “[M]ore and more people who spend more and more time sitting don’t get any exercise at all.”
With the ADA's recommendations, however, there is hope that more people will take a step back from their desks to improve their health.