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If You're A 'High Sitter' You Need 20-40 Minutes Of Exercise A Day

The average Australian worker sits for more than six hours a day -- which makes us a nation of what researchers call 'high sitters'. And that can be bad for our health.

But there is now research that can tell us how to mitigate the health risks.

According to a new study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiologyexercising for just 30 minutes each day can reduce many of the risks associated with sitting too much for too long.

Researchers from the University of Sydney did the study and followed nearly 150,000 people aged over 45 for nine years.

They found that "high sitters" who did not exercise were 107 percent more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than those who did at least one hour of physical activity per day and sat less than four hours.

READ MORE: Sitting Down All Day May Sabotage Your Gym Visit

Image: Getty

"We considered high sitters those who sit for more than six hours per day," lead author Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis told 10 daily.

"High sitting" has been linked with diseases from cancer and obesity to heart disease and diabetes and depression. What's more, a recent study, reported in the Journal of Applied Physiology, even found that people who sat for long periods and took fewer than 4,000 steps a day developed metabolic problems, even if they exercised, but in good news, now this new study disproves that theory -- saying that if we do some exercise we can really make a difference.

Professor Stamatakis said that the new findings just suggest we need to do more -- or more intense -- exercise to offset all that sitting.

Phew.

And here's another thing, don't just go out and buy a stand-up desk -- that isn't going to help a bit.

"First and foremost, our study emphasises how important physical activity is for people who have to sit a lot, such as office workers, taxi and bus drivers,  and call center workers," he told 10 daily. "The bad news for high sitters is that replacing sitting with standing seemed to have no benefit."

The new study found that those who incorporated just 20 to 40 minutes of moderate intensity exercise -- even walking -- into their day, drastically reduced their risk.

READ MORE: The Weird Thing Walking Does To Your Brain

Image: Getty

"The good news was that even 20-40 minutes of fast walking per day, or half of that amount of strenuous exercise and sports, weakened or even offset the mortality risks of sitting," Stamatakis told 10 daily.  "For people who feel that even 20 minutes per day is a lot, it is okay to start from 10 minutes a day and  at the same time reduce sitting; and once the 10 minutes become  a comfortable lifestyle habit, try to build up to 20 minutes of activity a day or more."

Hop -- or walk --to it.

Feature image: Getty.