Study: Daily tasks can get sedentary workers closer to national physical activity guidelines

A new study published in the journal Social Science & Medicine, titled No time for the gym? Housework and other non-labor market time use patterns are associated with meeting physical activity recommendations among adults in full-time, sedentary jobs, with lead author Lindsey Smith, found that people with sedentary (or deskbound) jobs can still meet national guidelines for physical activity by engaging in active tasks daily, such as housework, gardening, yard work or caregiving.

Smith’s research was featured by the Gillings School of Global Public Health:

“Reducing screen time is important, but it’s also vital that people recognize too much time sitting doing anything can be detrimental, especially for people who sit all day at work,” said Lindsey Smith, MPH, doctoral candidate in nutrition at the Gillings School and first author on the study. “This includes sitting while socializing, reading, running errands and other non-work activities.”

Smith adds that small changes in such habits often can be much easier for people to incorporate into their daily lives than are large-scale or radical changes. She cautions, however, that more study is needed to ascertain how overall time-use activities and patterns are related to obesity and health outcomes.
Smith adds that for people in general, but especially for individuals with sedentary jobs, the message about physical activity is fairly clear.

Read more from the research article here.

About Bridget Hollingsworth

Carolina Population Center
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