Deskbound? One hour of physical activity can improve your health

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A study found that one hour of daily physical activity can offset prolonged periods of sitting

Physical inactivity is linked to increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer

CNN  — 

It’s well-known that sitting down all day, be it at your desk, on the couch or in a car, is bad for your health. People know they should be getting up regularly, stretching their legs and simply moving their bodies more, but how many actually do it?

Not enough.

Twenty-three percent of adults globally – and an alarming 80% of adolescents at school – failed to be as active as they should have been in 2015, according to a new study. The potential health consequences are big, particularly for people who spend more of their day sitting.

Keeping your body stationary for prolonged periods of time can increase your chances of developing a range of diseases, including certain cancers, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke.

But factoring in one hour of physical activity for each day spent sitting can offset your chances of disease, according to one of four papers that form part of the series published Wednesday in The Lancet. The findings are the latest in a line of evidence on the dangers of sitting for too long – but this time, they come along with a solution.

The study found that the health impacts of an eight-hour workday spent bound to a computer or in a car can be alleviated by activities as simple as