Being “Active Couch Potato” Cancels Out Exercise Benefits, Study Says

After you finish your morning workout, you can relax on the sofa for the rest of the day feeling good that you got your daily exercise out of the way, right? Not so much, according to new research. A study from Finland says that makes you an “active couch potato” - someone who does the 30 minutes of moderate exercise recommended by the CDC and then sits for the rest of the day.

new study says that’s a problem because sitting for extended periods of time basically cancels out the benefits of your daily sweat sesh. Researchers analyzed the fitness habits of 37-hundred adults who wore scientific-grade activity trackers for at least a week and split participants into four groups based on how active they were throughout the day:

  • “Active couch potatoes” exercised for 30 minutes daily and sat for prolonged periods of time
  • “Sedentary light movers” also exercised for half an hour, but tended to move around 40% or 90 minutes more than “active couch potatoes” during the day.
  • “Sedentary exercisers” also sat for extended amounts of time, but did an hour of daily exercise.
  • And “movers,” who did an hour of exercise a day, as well as an extra two hours of movement during the day.

The results show that the active couch potatoes, who were sedentary for between 10 and 12 hours a day aside from their 30 minutes of physical activity, had higher blood sugar, cholesterol and body fat compared to the other three groups. Study authors say the study proves that the goal is to sit less during the day and they point out that adding 80 to 90 minutes of extra light activity a day, like walking and doing household chores, can improve overall health.

Source: NY Post

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