Recent research by the American Cancer Society has shown that people with higher incomes are more physically active than those with lower incomes, yet at the same time lead more sedentary lifestyles. Sedentary lifestyles have been shown to have numerous health risks, including an increased risk of developing cancer, higher blood sugar, decreased memory, and poor quality sleep. So how can someone be both more physically active yet more sedentary?
Compared to those who make less than $20,000 per year, those who make more than $75,000 per year spend an average of 4.6 more minutes per day engaging in moderate to vigorous physical activity, while they engage in 9.3 fewer minutes of light activity and 11.8 more minutes of being sedentary. Those with high incomes concentrate their physical activity into more compact periods – in other words, they are weekend warriors.
Those with higher incomes tend to work in office environments in which they spend the majority of their days sitting down. Then when the weekend comes around they go hiking, biking, or engaging in some other sorts of physical endeavors. They try to make up for their sedentary behavior on the job by increasing the amount of physical activity they engage in on the weekends.
While it’s beneficial to get physical activity in to counteract the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, just exercising on the weekends isn’t always enough to counteract the effects of remaining sedentary. The negative effects of sitting for long periods of time are well-established, which is why many experts recommend getting up and moving around for a few minutes every hour to break up the hours and hours spent in a chair. Just a few minutes of regular movement throughout the day, combined with regular exercise, can go a long way towards combating the negative health effects of a sedentary lifestyle.