Get up and go for good health

Mar 06 2017

Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute has found that sitting for long periods can be detrimental to your health. Find out what you can do to reduce your risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

There has been a major focus in the community on the need for regular, moderate to vigorous physical activity to drive better health, however, there is growing scientific evidence also supporting the health benefits of sitting less and the need for greater community awareness about the impacts of sedentary behaviour.

The Baker Institute’s Physical Activity unit is a global leader in sedentary behaviour research, with its research aiming to influence policy and workplace behaviour around prolonged sitting. And with almost two in three Australian adults now overweight or obese, sedentary behaviour is an ongoing concern.

Lead researcher and PhD candidate at the Baker Institute, Paddy Dempsey has found that interrupting sitting with brief bouts of light-intensity walking or simple resistance activities has positive health benefits – particularly for overweight adults or those with type 2 diabetes.

"With prolonged periods of sitting and a lack of exercise, light-intensity walking or simple resistance activities are practical ways to reduce the risk of diabetic and cardiovascular problems," Paddy says.

"We know that regularly engaging in structured, medium to high intensity exercise can be hard and is not achievable for some people. But the good news is that our studies have found short and frequent bouts of low intensity physical activity can also deliver significant health benefits."

If you would like to take part in the ground breaking research conducted by the Institute’s Physical Activity unit, visit 

With the rising number of Australians affected by diabetes, heart disease and stroke, the need for research is more critical than ever. Support our life saving work by donating online or over the phone by calling 1800 827 040.

Break out box
Many occupations call for long periods of sitting which can make us feel drained. But there are things you can do to reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases:

  • Every 20-30 minutes, stand, stretch or walk for a healthy balance between sitting and being active
  • Try and aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week
  • Eat a healthy diet, low in salt and trans fats and high in fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Work to maintain a healthy weight
  • If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, get help to quit
  • Download the Institute’s free Rise & Recharge App

Did you know?
People who sit more than 8 hours a day have:

  • 91% increased risk of developing diabetes
  • 14% increased risk of heart disease
  • 15% risk of early death

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