Is your desk chair hurting your health?

office chairHeading to the gym before or after work is great way to stay active, but it may not reduce the risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle, says a new study. People who spend much of their time sitting down are at increased risk of developing conditions related to a sedentary lifestyle, such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity and premature death.

In a study of 91 women, published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, scientists found that those who exercised spent as much time sitting down as those who didn’t exercise much. The study found that although participants exercised an average of 146 minutes a week, they still spent about 63 percent of their time sitting. Time involved in sustained exercise only accounted for about 2 percent of their daily time.

The results don’t suggest that exercising is fruitless; exercise still has significant health benefits. Instead, they suggest you try to add more activity throughout your day: Take frequent breaks during the day to stand up, take a walk and move around as much as possible. Instead of emailing a colleague, get up and talk face to face—you might find you resolve challenges faster, too.