Doing some common activities — like getting up from your chair or walking — is an easy way to cut back your sitting time and increase your movement or walking time throughout the day. This offsets the harmful health effects of sitting for long periods of time.

Health benefits of reducing our total sitting time throughout the day

Regardless of whether or not you do physical exercise in your leisure time:

  • Sitting less than 7 hours/day reduces the risk of death from all causes.
  • Sitting less than 6 hours a day improves your cardiovascular health:
    • It reduces the risk of heart attack by 38%.
    • It reduces the risk of having high cholesterol levels.
    • It is associated with having a smaller waistline.
  • Sitting less than 4 hours a day reduces the risk of developing diabetes.
  • Doing work tasks actively:
    • Reduces the risk of being overweight or obese.
    • Decreases the risk of cancer mortality by 40%.

Health benefits of replacing some sitting periods with mild or moderate physical activity

Replacing various sitting periods throughout the day with light physical activity (moving around the office) and a 10-minute period of moderate physical activity (walking at a brisk pace) helps eliminate physical inactivity from your life and combat their harmfulness.

  • Replacing sitting time with light physical activity has positive effects for preventing and treating diabetes:
    • Improved glycemic control and insulin levels in plasma.
    • Reduced waistline.
    • In older employees, it reduces body mass index and helps prevent and control weight gain and obesity.
  • Replacing sitting time with moderate physical activity is associated with a better cardiometabolic profile:
    • Decreases body mass index by 1.2%
    • Increases the level of good cholesterol (HDL)
    • Lowers levels of blood triglycerides
    • In younger employees, it is associated with a lower percentage of body fat.