The average person spends three hours a day sitting on the sofa and watching TV-and almost anything is better than that, from standing or even sleeping, say researchers from the University of Sydney.
Substituting an hour on the sofa for a walk reduces your risk of a premature death by 14 per cent, but even standing up for that hour lowers the risk by 5 per cent, they reckon. Sleeping for an extra hour a day can reduce the chances of an early death by 6 per cent if you aren't currently getting enough sleep.
But going the other way-and swapping an hour of activity for extra time on the sofa-can increase your risk of an early death by as much as 17 per cent.
Any activity is good, whether it's a walk round the block or kicking a ball in the backyard. It doesn't have to be a strenuous work-out in the gym, say the researchers.
(Source: International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2015; 12: doi: 10.1186/s12966-015-0280-7)