It turns out that a lack of exercise in our lives is a silent killer. The World Health Organisation lists physical inactivity as the fourth biggest risk factor for death in adults across the world.

The latest research shows when it comes to heart disease, leading a sedentary life is as great a risk factor as smoking and obesity. In fact, inactivity in terms of disease risk, is more dangerous than being overweight.

If you spend long periods of time sitting, this is particularly bad news, as it increases your risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer. The most current research has shown that even normal weight individuals that are inactive, are at risk of developing disease. There is a molecular pathway that is essential to burning fats, that shuts down with inactivity, and that subsequently increases your risk of developing heart disease.

It Doesn’t Matter When You Start, As Long As You Do. Physical activity performed regularly, can help to prevent and manage over 20 chronic medical conditions. These include coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer, obesity, mental health problems and musculoskeletal conditions.

And the good news is that we can combat the negative effects of prolonged sitting (total of 8 hours or more) with just 60-75 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a day.

The reality is that hectic schedules can make it seem impossible to fit workouts into your busy week. If you can’t, then just start with becoming slightly more active than you currently are during your working day. You would be surprised at the number of opportunities there are in a working day, to increase your activity levels. This doesn’t have to mean running or cycling to work, although that’s great if you can, but you can in fact accumulate activity that is beneficial to health, in lots of different ways during the day. Just start with more frequent movement and swap some of the sitting for standing.

As physical therapists we can help with a wide range of issues caused by long periods of sitting at a desk, including back and neck pains, tingling in your hands, carpal tunnel syndrome, even regular headaches experienced at work. T

To find out more about the treatment the clinic offers, do check out the Putney Clinic’s Osteopathy Services, Physiotherapy Services and Massage Services. Contact us on 020 8789 3881 or by email at to discuss your needs and find out how we can be of help.