People who spend the majority of their waking hours sitting down should follow a simple formula to stave off an early death, a new study has found.
t says that for every sedentary hour – whether sitting at a desk or watching TV – a person should spend three minutes exercising.
That exercise can be spread across the day or in a single session.
Balancing a sedentary lifestyle with running or brisk walking was found to lower the risk of premature death by 30pc
Academics from Glasgow Caledonian University said that for those unable to do strenuous exercise, three minutes of intense exercise can be substituted by 12 minutes of light activity such as gentle walking or housework.
Someone who sits for seven hours a day should spend either 21 minutes of that day in the gym or 84 minutes in less intense exercise.
Data was gathered from more than 130,000 people across six studies and the findings published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Mathematical analysis revealed that the current guidance of 30 minutes of exercise a day, five days a week, is a good benchmark for the most active members of society who sit down for no more than seven hours a day – reducing the risk of death by 80pc – but not for more sedentary people such as office workers.
The study reveals that the benefit of half-an-hour of strenuous exercise is un-
done if people sit for too
long, and 30 minutes of activity fails to reduce the risk of early death in the most sedentary people, who spend more than 11 or 12 hours seated each day.
“Our new formula found that three minutes of moderate to vigorous exer-
cise per hour of sitting will get the balance right and help you live a longer, healthier life,” said Prof Sebastian Chastin, the lead author of the study.
“The leftover hours should be spent generally moving around as much as you can and getting a good night’s sleep.
“This new cocktail, or simple formula, really boosts your health protection.”