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News2015October › Swapping an hour on the sofa for walking helps you live longer › October 2015

Swapping an hour on the sofa for walking helps you live longer

Swapping an hour on the sofa for walking or some physical activity every day can reduce your chances of a premature death by around 14 per cent-and even standing instead of sitting for those 60 minutes makes a difference

Swapping an hour on the sofa for walking or some physical activity every day can reduce your chances of a premature death by around 14 per cent-and even standing instead of sitting for those 60 minutes makes a difference.

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)


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