Study Shows That Just 22 Minutes of Exercise Can Counteract Negative Effects of Sitting

Article Title: Study Shows That Just 22 Minutes of Exercise Can Counteract Negative Effects of Sitting


A new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine reveals that incorporating as little as 22 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity into our daily routine can effectively counteract the harmful effects of prolonged sitting. The study, which included data from nearly 12,000 individuals aged 50 and above in Norway, Sweden, and the United States, found that increased physical activity levels were associated with a reduced risk of premature death from any cause. This groundbreaking research highlights the importance of incorporating exercise into our lifestyles to maintain optimal health and well-being.

Research Methodology:

In this comprehensive study, participants were asked to wear movement detection devices on their hips for at least four days, ensuring a minimum of 10 hours of data collection each day. The research team tracked these individuals for at least two years, carefully accounting for factors such as medical conditions that could potentially affect the risk of early death. Interestingly, half of the participants were found to be sedentary for 10 1/2 hours or more each day.


Upon analyzing the data and linking it with the death registries in different countries, the researchers discovered that 805 individuals, roughly 17% of the participants, had passed away during the average five-year follow-up period. Among those who died, 357 individuals, or 6% of the group, had spent less than 10 1/2 hours seated, while 448 individuals had spent 10 1/2 hours or more sedentary. Surprisingly, the study revealed that sitting for more than 12 hours a day was associated with a 38% increased risk of death compared to just eight hours, but only among those who engaged in less than 22 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity daily.

The Importance of Physical Activity:

As the risk of death decreased with higher levels of physical activity, the study found that every additional 10 minutes of exercise per day translated to a 15% lower risk among those who were seated for less than 10 1/2 hours. Among those who were sedentary for more than 10 1/2 hours per day, the risk decreased by an impressive 35%. Interestingly, it was noted that lower intensity activities made a significant difference only for individuals who spent 12 or more hours sitting each day.


Lead author Edvard Sagelv from The Arctic University of Norway emphasizes the attainability of incorporating exercise into our daily lives. He suggests that a 20-minute commitment, which can easily be broken down into two 10-minute sessions, is sufficient. For example, taking a 10-minute stroll twice a day, such as hopping off the bus one stop earlier on the way to work and on the return journey, can significantly contribute to overall health. This study underlines the importance of integrating physical activity into our daily routines as a means of promoting longevity and safeguarding well-being.

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