Counteracting the Health Risks of Sitting with Just 15 Minutes of Exercise

Organizations like the American Heart Association have spent years warning the general public that sitting too much can lead to heart disease and death. A new study reveals that people who sit for long periods at work have a 16 percent higher risk of all mortality causes. This group of individuals also has 34 percent of deaths from heart disease.

However, engaging in some physical activities can go a long way to reducing this risk. This article examines the downsides of sitting too long and the benefits of occasional exercise.

What Are The Downsides of Sitting Too Long and the Benefits of Exercising?

The study researchers monitored almost half a million adults aged 20 and older living in Taiwan. They also recorded an estimated 26,000 deaths over an average follow-up period of 13 years. Among this number, 57 percent (15,045 deaths) were among those who mostly sat at work. Researchers also noted that individuals who mostly sat at work had higher risks than those who alternated between sitting and non-sitting.

Conversely, the study’s results revealed that people who combined sitting long hours at work with low physical activity were healthier. For this group, 15 to 30 minutes of daily physical activity reduced their death risk.

These findings support previous research that physical activity can reduce your odds of early death if you live a sedentary life. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans also recommend that adults have 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity weekly.

How to Incorporate Exercise Into Your Daily Life

You can start by adding more activities, such as standing, walking, and more exercise into your daily routine. Researchers also said you can use simple work breaks that don’t require fixed exercise sessions. Examples include standing up at your desk or taking a 10-minute walk every few hours.

You can also get creative in adding more movement to your daily routine. For instance, you can take the stairs or park further away from the store or workplace entrance. Researchers also recommend combining strength-building, stretching, and cardiovascular exercises into your daily routine. This can promote your physical mobility and keep your heart healthy.


Sitting too much throughout the day can increase your risk of health issues and lead to untimely death. You must add more movement or moderate exercises to your routine to stay healthy and reduce your death risk.