If you’re someone who works at a computer all day, chances are you’re racking up quite a few hours of screen time and time spent sitting at your desk. But how much time are Canadians really spending being sedentary each day? Statistics Canada conducted a study and found that Canadian adults reported spending and average of 3.2 hours per day in front of a screen and 5.7 hours per day sitting.
The researchers followed 2,511 adults between the ages of 18 to 79, who reported on the amount of time they spent sitting and looking at a screen each day. To track their sedentary time and physical movement, they wore Actical accelerometers.
Although the adults reported sitting for 5.7 hours, the hip-worn accelerometers found that Canadian adults were sedentary for approximately 9.8 hours, which is more than the recommended amount.
Related: Not into intense exercise? Good news: low-impact movement still has brain benefits.
What are the risks of too much time spent sitting?
The guidelines are in place due to the adverse health outcomes linked to too much time being idle. According to StatsCan, too much sedentary time is “associated with an increased risk of obesity, hypertension, depression, chronic conditions and diseases, as well as premature mortality.”
See also: Picking up the pace? Running may boost left brain-right brain communication: Study.
How long should adults spend sitting down and in front of a screen?
The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Adults aged 18-64 and for adults aged 65 years and older is a daily limit of sedentary time for eight hours or fewer. And for screen time, the recommendation is three hours or less.
So, if you find you’re spending too much time not moving during the day, it might be good to remember to get up for a quick hot girl walk, or if you have to sit but want to give your eyes a break from your screens, try reading a book instead.
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