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What is the maximum amount of hours to spend sitting?

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If one spent most of their day sitting (driving, desk job, watching TV, etc.) and yet, exersized for 30 minutes a day after that - would they be considered "sedentary" or "lightly active"?

Oh, and what about school hours? I mean, teens could spend HOURS a day sitting in school. And ditto for church - is two or three hours too long to spend being inactive, no matter what the reason? Many books geared towards parents with children and teens say that you should limit sedentary activities and "screen time" to two hours or less per day to prevent obesity and weight gain. So - how many "sitting" or "sedentary" hours should you spend a day (not counting eating)? Two? Three? I'm confused.
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If you spend 30 minutes exercising per day you'd be classed as lightly active and it's enough to raise your metabolism for the whole day.  There are different types of sitting.  Sitting reading a book, listening to a sermon or doing schoolwork actually burns more energy than sitting watching TV.

For children and teenagers the recommendation is to spend no more than 1 hour a day watching TV or using the computer and to spend at least an hour a day being physically active.

A really good (measurable) way to make sure you're getting some activity each day is to get hold of a simple pedometer and try to clock up 10,000 steps or more each day.

well, i spend 9 hours in front of my computer at work...and while i might be burning calories typing and dialing numbers on my phone...i still feel worthless when it comes to actually exercising.

i can hardly find 30 minutes a day to be physically active...or "exercise".  i surely don't sit down when i get home...but it's doing household chores and caring my for daughter. 

i'm trying to find ways to fit in 30-45 minutes a day for exercise, but it's becoming a bigger and bigger challenge.

I am totally with you! I am currently working two jobs...a desk job during the day (about 5 hours of sitting) and a restaurant job at night (which is at least a little bit of walking).  I have started in the past week or two to try and get up early to go to the gym, and although it has been hard to get up, I am starting to get used to it.  Here are some tips I have found useful:

Set your alarm 20 to 30 minutes before you actually want to leave to give yourself time to relax and wake up.  Knowing when the alarm buzzed I had to jump and get dressed and leave just did not encourage me to turn on the alarm!

Don't try and kill yourself for your first few work outs.  Pick your favorite type of work out (even if it is simple and not the full amount you ultimately want to do) and just do that.  That way, you have something to look forward to and you know you will feel good after.  On mornings when I don't feel like doing cardio, it is easier to get up and go to the gym if I say--its okay skip cardio today and work on arms and abs or vice versa!  Or if I know I need to cardio, I just pick a place where I like to run (a park or something) and just take it easy.  Doing a little of something is better than nothing at all!

Try finding a gym buddy to meet you at the gym.  One of my friends and I talk right before bed and make plans to meet at 7:30.  Knowing someone is waiting on me gives me that final push out the door!

Each morning is getting a little easier to wake up...not that I have made it each morning by any means (and neither has my friend)...I hope this helps! good luck!

It is hard when you work full time and have young children. I use the "gym buddy" but for you, it still might not be possible to get 30-40  minutes away....

Try this--when you microwave something--do jumping jacks or run in place (or some other exercise). When you wash your hands, do squats. At work, get up every 30-40 minutes and do 1 set of something (pushups against the wall, wall squats)

If you pick ONE exercise (squats, push ups, run in place) to do EVERY time you _____ (microwave, wash hands, etc) for about 6-7 actvities and exercises consistantly EVERY day, you will have effectively done a 30-40 min workout every day. It is not the best workout scenario, but I guarantee that over time, you will notice the difference, and then on days when you DO get to really workout, you won't be starting at ground zero!(hopefully, this made sense!) good luck.

that was awesome!  thanks.  it is VERY hard for me to find 30-40 minutes of time.  especially because my husband and i share a car...he works the night shift, and he comes home only 30 minutes before i have to walk out the door to get my daughter to preschool and myself to work. 

i'm really considering joining the gym this weekend, and if i do...then i'll be able to go on my lunch break...and the gym is only about 8 minutes from my job.  i could even shower and come back if i wanted to...or work through my lunches some days and leave early.  [[i JUST thought of that...amazing.]]

i'm determined to get a cameron diaz stomach...and i wouldn't mind having her thighs. 


My answer to the actual question would be 24Cool!  But seriously folks, everyone above has great ideas.  I guess there is no right answer for any one person.  It really depends on your schedule.  I'm not much of an exersize expert, but I consider my yard work to be exercise for me.  It might not sound like fun, but go wash a wall.  Sweeping the driveway is invigorating.  My roommate is a slob, so cleaning up his cooking experiments can work up a sweat!  Every day I choose a chore and really do a through job at it.  I put up a clothesline so hanging up and taking down the laundry instead of using the dryer is exercise too.  Check out the Activities page.  You might be surprised how much exercise you really do get.  And how clean your house can become with that little bit of effort.  Good Luck!  I'll take Cameron Diazs' money since the body parts seem to be already claimedLaughing.

Zebulancherry -- when you are in school, you are not really "just" sitting for the whole 6-8 hours, you are up every 50 mins or  (in most schools) transfering between classes, going to and from, etc.  In church, you are usually up every so often  -- standing for a hymn, praises, etc.  Even those of us with desk jobs are usually (but not always) more active than we think.  I wore my pedometer to work and somehow logged over 2000 steps -- it is only 15 steps around the entire office (I checked it out), so most of my steps were just up and to the copier, up and to the other computer, up to pick up pt cards, etc -- but they all add up.

Many people, if you were to add up the actual "sitting" time, are probably sedentary anywhere from 4-12 hours out of the day.  But, as gi-jane stated, being active just for 30 mins can make a world of difference as far as metabolism and calorie burn is concerned.

I'm in college so during the week I sit a lot. Monday I have 2 hour and a half long classes, so 3 hours of sitting, plus 3 hours between the two classes of mostly sitting in the student center. Tuesday I have 2 three hour long classes and 1 one hour class. Wednesday I have 1 hour and a half long class and 1 three and a half hour class. Thursday is the same as Tuesday, and Friday is only one hour.

M: 3 hours

Tu: 7

W: 4.5

Th: 7

F: 1

That's a lot of sitting, thankfully Tuesday and Thursday I do yoga for 2 hours. And at nights my job is cashiering so I am if there is a limit daily I probably am over that limit.

Original Post by gi-jane:
For children and teenagers the recommendation is to spend no more than 1 hour a day watching TV or using the computer and to spend at least an hour a day being physically active. 

Eh, not in this decade. 90% of my work is on the computer these days.

That is this decade....  :-)  How about 'no more than 1 hour a day using the computer for recreation?'  If you're welded to the computer doing schoolwork you can't avoid it but still try to get the 1 hour exercise to compensate. 
10 Replies