Despite numerousstudies and reports that physical activity plays an important role in stayinghealthy, it’s been recently discovered that older women spend up to two-thirdsof their daytime being sedentary.
Researchers at theHarvard School of Public Health conducted the study on over 7,000 women with anaverage age of 71. The women were acedto wear an accelerometer for seven days while they were awake, and researchersdiscovered that the women spent 65 percent of the day sedentary as opposed tobeing active. It was noted that as ageand BMI increased so did sedentary time, but the sedentary periods were also inshorter durations. 31.5 of totalsedentary time lasted approximately 30 minutes or less.
Though recent studieshave shown that sedentary behavior does pose health risks, it’s unclear yetwhether lack of physical activity in these short bursts is adverse whencompared to longer periods of inactivity. While this is unclear, researchers say it’s important to note theseinactive periods in order to help determine how much activity is requiredduring the day – and in what types of duration – to find out how much a personneeds to improve their overall health.
Despite beingsedentary for a majority of their lives, beginning exercise at any period hasnumerous positive effects on a person’s health. It’s been suggested by other studies that engaging in at least 150minutes of activity per week can help prevent and treat dementia relatedconditions in addition to improving cardiovascular function. Hopefully, using information from thesestudies with the information gathered in the study regarding sedentaryactivity, researchers can come up with a recommended target for both physicalactivity, and a preventative guideline for how long a person can remainsedentary during the day without adversely affecting their health.
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