U.S. Adults Are Sitting More, and It’s Putting Their Health at Risk

AMERICAN ADULTS HAVE spent more time sitting in recent years even as their exercise habits haven’t improved, according to a new study that warns of the health consequences tied to such trends.

Researchers from the University of Iowa examined national self-reported health survey data from 2007-2008 through 2015-2016 to estimate trends in adherence among more than 27,300 adults to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, first issued in 2008 and updated in 2018.

The guidelines call for adults to “engage in at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity” – or an equivalent combination of the two, according to the study. Their stated purpose is to “promote good health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.”

The study’s results showed that the estimated share of people 18 and over who met the guidelines for aerobic activity did not significantly change over nearly a decade, from 63.2% in 2007-2008 to 65.2% in 2015-2016.

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