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New research says that sedentary office workers need to get active if they want to cut their risk of dying prematurely.

According to the study, published in The Lancet Medical journal, an hour of walking or cycling a day could eliminate the increased risk of death for people who spend eight hours a day sitting down.

The study looked at the results of 16 studies involving more than a million people. It found that an hour of exercise was enough to eliminate the increased risk of death.

The advice we give to our bariatric patients is to be active! Exercise will help maintain muscle tone, accelerate weight loss and increase confidence.

This is more than just going to the gym, it means doing anything that gets you moving and using your muscles. It could be taking the stairs rather than the lift, carrying your shopping in both arms, gardening, dancing or even getting off the bus a stop earlier.

Aim to do some activity everyday. This will increase your metabolic rate to aid weight loss. Patients can usually take more exercise following their procedure, because of improved breathing and or reduced back and knee pain.

Try to start with a daily walking plan. Walking is beneficial because it is a weight bearing exercise, which can help to protect your bones from osteoporosis.

Gradually over time you will be able to build up your stamina and move on to other forms of activity. If walking is difficult try water-based exercises such as swimming or water aerobics, which puts less pressure on the joints.

Talking about the importance of being active, our bariatric dietician, Nicole Berberain said, “activity is so much more than weight loss. On the surface it improves energy levels, mood, body tone and shape. But it has some effects that you won’t see on the outside.

“Such as reducing the risk of the major heart diseases, diabetes, cancers and even stimulating cells in the body to be more active and responsive.

“Of particular importance for our bariatric patients are the effects on muscles and bones. Weight bearing activity combined with protein intake stimulates growth of muscle.

“It is frightening how quickly damage can be done from lack of activity, such as reduction muscle levels and strength.

“In a study looking at a healthy young male, in just one week of bed rest 1.3kg of muscle was lost, but fat levels are unchanged. If you think that’s not a lot, take a look at the size of a 1.3kg of steak!

“Within minutes of exercise the function of insulin is improved, making the cells more sensitive and responsive, with effects lasting for hours after stopping. That means you will see improvements in blood sugar levels and control.

“My advice is to find something you enjoy! Find a fun activity that fits in around your day or week. Then make it a priority because it’s doing your mind, body and soul the world of good.”

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