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You don’t just need exercise, you need to move more

Over the course of human history, we’ve never been as sedentary as we are right now. And scientists say it could be killing us.

Sitting more than eight hours a day without any added physical activity puts your risk of death at levels similar to obesity and smoking. Meanwhile, sedentary jobs in the US have increased 83% since 1950, and physically active jobs now make up less than 20% of the US workforce.

Modern life has become an evolutionary mismatch for the movement-heavy lifestyle our bodies need to stay healthy. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors had to move to do just about everything, so human physiology evolved to require constant movement. But today, we commute in cars, work at desks, and order our meals via smartphone apps.

In other words: our bodies require movement, but our modern world of convenience doesn’t.

To address this dilemma, we’re told to exercise more. US physical activity guidelines call for 150 minutes per week for adults, or 30 minutes five days a week. But even if you do work out for 30 minutes a day, that still means you’re staying relatively still 98% of the time.

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