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News > Science, Technology & Medicine > Medicine & Health > Hugh Bethell on sedentary behaviour during lockdown

Hugh Bethell on sedentary behaviour during lockdown

Hugh Bethell (FH 55-60) blogs about his concerns with more of us 'sitting in' during the current Covid-19 pandemic

Hugh Bethell (FH 55-60) concerns with more of us ‘sitting in’ 

In these “stay at home” days many of us will have found ways to keep active and many may have actually increased their exercising. However, most of us will have found ourselves doing much more sitting about.

Why is this important? Beware! Exercise or no exercise, sedentary time is harmful for us.

Sedentary behaviour is any time spent primarily sitting or lying down and which involves expenditure of 1.5 metabolic equivalents (METs) or less i.e. very little indeed. The commonest example nowadays is screen time, be it TV, laptop, most video games, mobile phone or surfing the net.

Excess sedentary behaviour can be found in people who take a lot of vigorous exercise. Even among adults who meet recommended physical activity levels and who sleep for eight hours per night, it is possible to spend the vast majority of the day (up to 15 hours) sitting down.

Just sitting about is dangerous in its own right even if you do take enough exercise. For adults who meet the minimal public health recommendations on physical activity on most days each week, there are still deleterious metabolic consequences of the 9 to 10 hours of sitting that can occupy their remaining “non-exercise” time.  

A new physical activity population known as ‘active couch potatoes’ has emerged – those who apparently take the recommended amount of exercise but spend excess time just sitting around. The current virus emergency must surely be increasing the numbers.
Read full article here via Hugh’s blog

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