I’m active, I must be healthy??

I believe I am very active,  I’m on my feet at work,  exercise 6 days a week, run, go to the gym – all the good stuff . I easily met the most recent recommendations of the American College of Sports Medicine (Haskell et al., 2007) of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. I am fit, healthy BMI <25, and “active”. but then I came across this sitting calculator  (http://www.getbritainstanding.org/) and ……… apparently Im not ……… according to this I’m at high to medium risk of a number of diseases due to my level of INACTIVITY and sitting. So there is something wrong with this……… Surely!


So I did my own bit of research and yes I am active but I spend fair amount of my day on my backside and this is a problem, a big problem! The contribution of increased levels of activity to health have been studied as far back as the 1950s, at which time bus conductors and postmen were identified as having lower death rates from cardiovascular disease than less active workers – drivers and switchboard operators (Morris et al., 1953).

Even though the evidence suggests that increased levels of physical activity have numerous health benefits, the effects of simultaneous sedentary behaviour on health remain scantily investigated (Katzmarzyk et al., 2009). Sedentary behaviours include sitting, driving (commuting), lying down (not sleeping) and television viewing (Chu & Moy, 2013). Industrial, technological and social progress have considerably reduced physical activity levels and greatly increased the participation in sedentary behaviours (Matthews et al., 2012). When compared to our parents and grandparents, my generation work and live in surroundings that discourage movement and physical activity – we are required to sit for prolonged periods in work, school and home (Owen et al., 2010). The research of a “sedentary lifestyle” has predominantly focussed on the detrimental results of non participation in the recommended level of exercise, nevertheless the appreciation of the adverse effects of sedentary behaviours on health is growing rapidly.(Matthews et al., 2012).

So currently I work hard, train hard and sit long. And that is a problem, not just for me, but for a lot of us. So what can i change …. watch this space!

work place postures
Office of the future?


Barry Kehoe


Chu AHY & Moy FM. (2013). Joint Association of Sitting Time and Physical Activity with Metabolic Risk Factors among Middle-Aged Malays in a Developing Country: A Cross-Sectional Study. PLoS One 8.

Haskell WL, Lee IM, Pate RR, Powell KE, Blair SN, Franklin BA, Macera CA, Heath GW, Thompson PD & Bauman A. (2007). Physical activity and public health: updated recommendation for adults from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. Med Sci Sports Exerc 39, 1423-1434.

Katzmarzyk PT, Church TS, Craig CL & Bouchard C. (2009). Sitting time and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Med Sci Sports Exerc 41, 998-1005.

Kohl HW, 3rd, Craig CL, Lambert EV, Inoue S, Alkandari JR, Leetongin G & Kahlmeier S. (2012). The pandemic of physical inactivity: global action for public health. Lancet 380, 294-305.

Lohman TG, Ring K, Pfeiffer K, Camhi S, Arredondo E, Pratt C, Pate R & Webber LS. (2008). Relationships among Fitness, Body Composition, and Physical Activity. Med Sci Sports Exerc 40, 1163-1170.

Matthews CE, George SM, Moore SC, Bowles HR, Blair A, Park Y, Troiano RP, Hollenbeck A & Schatzkin A. (2012). Amount of time spent in sedentary behaviors and cause-specific mortality in US adults. Am J Clin Nutr 95, 437-445.

Morris JN, Heady JA, Raffle PA, Roberts CG & Parks JW. (1953). Coronary heart-disease and physical activity of work. Lancet 265, 1053-1057; contd.

Nocon M, Hiemann T, Muller-Riemenschneider F, Thalau F, Roll S & Willich SN. (2008). Association of physical activity with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil 15, 239-246.

Owen N, Sparling PB, Healy GN, Dunstan DW & Matthews CE. (2010). Sedentary behavior: emerging evidence for a new health risk. Mayo Clin Proc 85, 1138-1141.

Sofi F, Capalbo A, Cesari F, Abbate R & Gensini GF. (2008). Physical activity during leisure time and primary prevention of coronary heart disease: an updated meta-analysis of cohort studies. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil 15, 247-257.

One thought on “I’m active, I must be healthy??

  1. Great sitting calculator! I’m going to have to use this. I know sitting is “the new smoking” but I believe I don’t think I’m sitting as much as I actually am. Thanks for this link!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s