Research on physical activity and health has pointed clearly to increasing the time that adults spend doing moderate-to-vigorous intensity activities: 30 minutes a day is generally recommended. Recent evidence, however, underlines the importance of also focusing on sedentary behaviours -- the high volumes of time that adults spend sitting in their remaining ‘non-exercise’ waking hours. In the context of contemporary interest in physical activity and health, we provide a brief overview of recent evidence for the distinct relationships between ‘too much sitting’ and biomarkers of metabolic health, and thus with increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other prevalent chronic health problems. Particular concerns for this new field include the challenges of changing sedentary behaviours in the context of ubiquitous environmental and social drivers of sitting time; examining the effects of interventions for reducing or breaking-up sitting time; and, identifying the most-relevant implications for clinical and public health practice.
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