Will reducing sedentary behaviors alone improve my physical fitness?

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The goal to reduce sedentary behaviors is a great starting point. No matter how we move more, the key is to move more. 

Your physical fitness will increase with the change initially. And you will feel really good. Keep in mind that as your fitness level improves, to continue progressing (reaching new levels of fitness), the activity you choose to replace the sedentary behavior will need to be adjusted accordingly.

An example of simple progression would be...initially replacing a sedentary behavior such as watching TV with gardening. After a time, you add walking and then maybe jogging. Gradual, sustainable, simple ongoing changes will help you to consistently improve your physical fitness level.

Yes and no.  You used the most important word and that is IMPROVE.  Yes it will improve your fitness.  If you lay around all day and do nothing and simply start moving you will notice that you will start to feel better and lose weight because you are simply moving more.  But...

Your body and mind are very adaptive.  Just moving more will cause changes in your body but eventually you will hit a plateau and will need more changes and challenges.  Perhaps your diet and calories need attention and focus, perhaps you have muscular imbalances that need attention so you can be more functional.  Maybe you want to get involved in various events or get stronger and more toned.

Simply moving more will help now but to have continual improvements in physical fitness you will need to continually challenge yourself with new and challenging things in the future.

Yes absolutely. Research shows that people who are constantly active even if they are only performing low intensity or moderate intensity exercise live significantly longer and have fewer health problems than sedentary people. Research shows that something as simple as adding an extra 2,000 steps a day to your routine can significantly decrease your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Little things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to a colleague’s office instead of emailing them, can add up over time to big health benefits.

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Small changes really do add up when it comes to physical activity. Research shows that cutting back on sedentary activities, such as television viewing or computer time, can make you move more and lose more weight. In fact, a 154-pound (70 kilogram) person who adds two (cumulative) hours per day of light movement as part of a regular routine can lose an extra 33 lbs (15 kilograms) of weight per year. So, if you’re standing up, you’re on your way to moving more!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.