If your feet ache and your back hurts after a long day of work, you may be convinced this is proof you’re getting all the exercise your body needs each day. Unfortunately, even a busy job may not provide enough exercise to meet current activity recommendations for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. This conclusion comes from a study recently reported at the EuroPRevent congress in Lisbon.
The typical adult spends nearly 60% of his or her waking hours at work. But, after the study assessed the activity levels of all employees in a busy hospital, researchers found that sedentary behavior is still prevalent, with the majority of people getting levels of physical activity insufficient to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Data from participant pedometers showed that only 6% of the study subjects reached the recommended levels of 10,000 steps per day during working hours, while 30% were described with concern as “sedentary” or walking less than 5,000 steps per day.
Although the study only involved participants at a hospital, the conclusions could reasonably be applied to most other job categories. The findings illustrate the importance of keeping active throughout the day, even during your personal time. Consider taking a short walk with your spouse after dinner or heading outside to play a game of catch with your kids, even if your first impulse is to simply curl up in front of the TV. Your heart will thank you for the added effort!
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