We must also try to sit less, according to a new study. Picture: Pexels
Exercise alone is probably not enough for us to achieve and maintain good health.

We must also try to sit less, according to a new study of the separate physiological effects that exercise and light, almost-incidental activities, such as standing up, can have on our bodies. By now, we all know that regular exercise is good for us. The World Health Organisation recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly to lengthen our life spans and reduce risks of certain diseases.

In practice, this means 30 minutes almost daily of exercise that should be brisk enough to raise our heart rates and make us gasp a bit for breath.

But exercising 30 minutes a day leaves us plenty of time for other activities, the primary one of which (apart from sleeping) tends to be sitting. A typical office worker can easily log more than 10 or 11 hours a day in a chair, according to studies of how we spend our time.

These long stretches of sitting have been associated with a variety of health concerns. But whether a single session of exercise most days can reduce or cancel out those risks or whether we also need to find ways to sit less has remained scientifically uncertain.

New York Times