The impacts of sedentary behaviour: Why you need to move more and sit less

By Krista Harris | 10 March 2022
2 Minute Read
By Bryn Wallnau

In daily life, we can forget to make sure we are moving our bodies frequently enough, especially when we are busy, but the impacts of this might make you think twice…

Television viewing, video gaming, using a computer, sitting at school or at work, and sitting while commuting or travelling anywhere by car, are all examples of sedentary behaviour.

Nowadays, people have less manual labour intensive jobs, more people own cars and drive, and technology has affected housework and leisure in making things require less energy to operate.

Sedentary behaviour is defined as any waking behaviour, such as sitting or leaning, that has a Metabolic Equivalent Task (MET) of 1.5 or less. One MET is the Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) for a person at rest.

Physical activities can be divided into sections based on intensities such as 1.0-1.5 METs, classed as sedentary behaviour, 1.6-2.9 METs which would be considered light intensity. 3.0-5.9, classed as moderate intensity, and more than 6 METs which is vigorous intensity. 

What Are The Health Risks:

  • Higher blood pressure
  • Risk of weight gain and obesity
  • Increased risk of certain cancers
  • Decrease in muscle mass and strength
  • Risk of diabetes
  • Decreased cognitive capabilities
  • Risk of depression

Tips To Reduce Sedentary Behaviour:

  • Set an alarm to get up and move around each hour, whether to stretch or to walk around
  • Walk for a portion of your lunch or any other break
  • Park further away from shops or buildings in a car park to increase walking distance and time throughout the day
  • Get up and move around during advert breaks
  • Get up and stretch after reading a chapter of a book 
  • Sit on a stability ball instead of a couch or chair at home or at work
  • If given a choice, take the stairs over the lift
  • Try wearing a fitness tracker to monitor movement throughout the day
  • Aim to get at least 10,000 steps in throughout the day

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