The risks of sitting too long

The more time you spend sitting down, the worse it is for your heart. Walking is a simple and effective way to look after your health and avoid the risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle. You may be taking the risk of leading a sedentary lifestyle without even realising it. A sedentary lifestyle is defined by the absence of physical activity during the day. When your physical activity level is reduced to the bare minimum, and your daily energy expenditure doesn't exceed the normal resting rate, it's time to get on your feet and move! A sedentary lifestyle is the fourth biggest risk factor for developing a cardiovascular disease, after high blood pressure, smoking and diabetes. Of all these factors, you can most easily reverse the risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle: you just have to lead a more active life, notably by going fitness or Nordic walking regularly and by choosing to walk as often as possible. Walking is a natural, easy and effective way to develop your cardiac capacities, among other benefits.

Here are three recommendations for leading a more active life!

1 - Avoid spending too much time sitting

Just one hour of staying in a seated position is enough to reduce blood flow to the heart. Therefore, the longer you stay sitting down, the worse it is for your blood circulation.

To avoid becoming too sedentary at work, tap into the benefits of walking with these simple actions:
• Take the stairs rather than the lift
• Go to see your colleagues rather than send them an e-mail
• Take a break every hour to walk for a few minutes

Five minutes of walking every hour is enough to maintain your arterial functions and good blood flow.

Compared to people who stay sitting four hours a day, those who stay seated eight hours a day may have a 15% higher risk of premature death. Those who stay sitting eleven hours a day have a 40% higher risk (source: Archives of Internal Medicine).

2 - Join the 10,000 steps a day programme

When you go out, increase your chances of maintaining a more active lifestyle by walking whenever you can. A good way to do so is to join the  10,000 steps a day programme for better health. Why not get yourself a pedometer? It's well known that wearing a pedometer on a daily basis encourages you to walk more!

• What do 10,000 steps represent? 10,000 steps is roughly 8 km of walking, which will burn between approximately 300 and 400 kcal.

3 - Aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day thanks to walking

It's an easy and accessible sport! And if you decide to make fitness walking your preferred physical activity, you will continue to strengthen your heart muscles and fight against the risks of a sedentary lifestyle, while enjoying the other benefits of this endurance sport, such as weight loss and well-being.