Originally Posted by Katsmeow
Awhile back I went and read a number of actual studies on sitting. I don't remember the citations and didn't save most of them unfortunately. However, what I read seemed to say that total amount of sitting time was what was harmful independent of exercise down the rest of the day. That is, exercise didn't make up for the harm that sitting did.
Here is a link to one study that I found:
Too Much Sitting: The Population-Health Science of Sedentary Behavior
From the abstract:
What the research I saw indicated was that prolonged sitting without frequent breaks was detrimental even if the person engaged in moderate-vigorous exercise. It was the uninterrupted sitting that was harmful.
The above study found that - independent of meeting exercise guidelines - the people who tended to get up and interrupt their sitting during the day did better than those who didn't.
I saved another study called "Breaking up Prolonged Sitting Reduces Postprandial Glucose and Insulin Responses" and compared 3 groups. One group had uninterrupted sitting. The second would have 2 minutes of light intensity walking every 20 minutes. The third walked at moderate intensity for 2 minutes every 20 minutes. They then measured blood glucose levels. There was a significant difference between those who had the breaks and those who sat uninterrupted. However, there was not a significant different between those who engaged in the light walking versus the moderate walking.
So there seems to be research indicating that to mitigate some of the harm from sitting it is important to have breaks if only to lightly walk around for a couple of minutes. Sitting all day won't be mitigated by going an exercising for an hour.
I do think this research is very early on and all the studies seem fairly tentative. However, it has been persuasive enough to me that I've set a timer on my computer to remind me tp get up and move around at least every hour.
Thank you for posting these studies and your summaries. I read the two, plus some of the references. Like you say, much is speculative at this point, but it is easy to make some changes and see if blood markers get better.
When I am out, I am always active, as I don't drive so I am usually walking. (Sometimes riding a bus, or riding with my friend, which is sedentary, but a small part of my time.) But here at home, I do chores like dishes (no dishwasher) and laundry and vacuuming and general house cleaning like scrubbing the tub etc., but I also spend a lot of time sitting on my exercise ball in front of my computer. So yesterday I decided to put this idea of breaks in place, and I set a timer for 15', then I spend 5 minutes on my rower, then back to whatever work or recreation I am doing at the computer, etc. Right Now I have a cold, so this is all I want to do, but after I recover I'll experiment with substituting some longer rows in the rotation, still not sitting still more than 15 or 20 minutes. I find that overall this seems refreshing, so I doubt any productivity will be lost. Though it did surprise me how quickly 15' rolls around. I think it is easy to spend 2 hours or so doing some sedentary thing without ever being aware of how much time has flown by.
I leave the heat down and the intermittant exercise tends to keep me warm, while not getting hot enough to sweat and create a need to break for a shower before evening.
It is easy to do moderate or high moderate exercise on the rower (5-6.5 METs), without feeling much. A few days ago I tried doing the breaks with a mid-tempo salsa tune, and going around the apartment with the salsa traveling step. This is more pleasant than rowing, but by evening my hip was rebelling against this regime so back to the rower. I am not going to waste hip mileage on partnerless dancing.