Research suggests that just 30 minutes of exercise a day may be enough to offset the risks of being too sedentary.
Researchers have found that 30 to 40 minutes of vigorous exercise each day may reduce the damage caused by being sedentary.
Their study showed that people who spend a lot of time behind a desk or on the couch have a higher risk of premature death.
However, if you engaged in strenuous exercise such as cycling, brisk walking, or gardening, your risk was similar to that of people who were sedentary for long periods of time.
Professor Ulf Ekelund from the Norwegian School of Sports Science said: “The longer the time spent sitting, the higher the mortality rate in people who are less active.
“Among active people who engage in about 30 to 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity, the association between sedentary time and mortality risk is not significantly different from sedentary time. .”
The NHS recommends that Britons do some physical activity every day, with adults aiming to do strength training at least twice a week.
The guidelines say you should aim to do two and a half hours of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, each week.
Previous research has shown that time spent sitting increases the risk of heart attack and stroke compared to other levels of activity, such as sleeping or standing.
The latest research is British Journal of Sports MedicineWe looked at how much exercise people need to do to reduce the risk of sitting for too long.
Researchers analyzed data from more than 44,000 middle-aged and elderly people who wore fitness trackers for between four and 14 and a half years, during which time 3,451 people died.
Participants were divided into groups based on the average amount of time they spent sitting, which ranged from 8.5 to 10.5 hours per day.
It was also divided based on the duration of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity, ranging from an average of 8 to 35 minutes per day.
The results showed that people who spent the most time sitting were the most likely to die from any cause.
However, those who spent the most time in moderate to physical activity had a similar risk as those who spent the least amount of time sedentary.
Professor Ekelund said: “Our results show that combining physical activity and sedentary time in different ways can reduce the risk of premature death.
“The association between sedentary time and higher mortality risk appears to be attenuated, although not completely eliminated, in the top third of people who spend time on MVPA.”