Did you realise that even if you exercise regularly, you could be a “active couch potato,” according to researchers? Consider the following: Even if you exercise for 30 to 45 minutes a day, complete your daily workout in one sitting, you will likely spend 80 to 90% of your waking hours sitting. While 55 percent or more of adults in England met prescribed physical activity guidelines, they were nevertheless sedentary for roughly 10 hours per day, according to a research.

Obesity and more than 30 other chronic illnesses may be exacerbated by too many daily hours of inactivity, including time spent watching television—a classic couch potato behaviour. Inactivity has also been linked to an increase in heart disease indicators. Many of the benefits of exercise, such as blood sugar regulation and improved blood supply to the legs and brain, might be negated by this activity imbalance. Even four to six hours of inactivity can cause an enzyme that helps the body burn fat for energy to decline.

New Zealand researchers compared sedentary people who sat for 18 hours without moving to energetic couch potatoes who exercised for 30 minutes in between two nine-hour periods of inactivity. These groups were compared to a third group that did only two minutes of activity every half hour (light exercise). Blood sugar levels were higher in the inactive and active couch potato groups. Blood sugar management was better in the light exercise group.

The findings of these research all appear to point to the same conclusion: it’s crucial to attempt to be less of a couch potato—or a more active, active couch potato—no matter how active you are. So, if your New Year’s resolve was to start a new workout routine, don’t forget to walk for a few minutes during the day to break up your sitting.

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