We all know that humans were never meant to sit all day long. The cavemen actually had it better for their bodies with their hunting and gathering and, you know, running for their lives from wooly mammoths. Sitting at work is giving us a myriad of health problems including obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and abnormal cholesterol levels. However, a new study finds that sitting for the majority of the day may not be as bad as you thought as long as you work out a lot and your workouts include weight training.
The study, published in BMC Medicine, was led by Carlos Celis-Morales from the University of Glasgow. Her team looked at data from nearly 400,000 middle-aged people in the UK by looking at tests of grip strength and fitness tests using an ergometer. When the study followed up five years later with the subjects after the initial data collection it was found that people with the weakest grips had a 31% higher risk of dying compared to those with stronger grips who basically sat for the same amount of time. “The overall message is that it may not matter so much if you watch a lot of TV if you are strong, fit and physically active,” Morales said. “If you move and are more active, [sitting] will not have the same effect on your health as if you are inactive.”
Strengthen that grip
Essentially it is OK if you sit for eight hours a day as long as some of your time outside of work is spent in active mode and particularly working on your grip strength. That grip is a real game changer as the people who were sedentary most of the day and had weak grips had a 21% higher risk of developing heart disease and a 14% higher risk of getting cancer compared to people with higher grip strength.
So as long as you are constantly moving outside of the office you will be fine!