Are you sitting down too much? 10 September 2014 Australia is becoming an increasingly lazy nation. The introduction of modern technology has meant that we now sit for most of our waking hours â€“ getting to work, working desk-based jobs, spending the evening watching television and using computers. We donâ€™t even have to use energy when doing the washing, the dishes, opening the garage or changing the television channel. Shopping can even be done from the comfort of the lounge chair with internet shopping becoming more popular. Long periods of sitting increases the risk of chronic illness, such as: obesity higher levels of fat in the blood (cholesterol and triglycerides) higher blood pressure decreased insulin sensitivity brittle bones and osteoporosis certain types of cancer (e.g. colon, endometrial, breast and ovarian) But I do 30-60 minutes of physical activity most days, do I need to do more? People who do regular planned physical activity, such as walking, going to the gym, swimming or aerobics classes still sit for long periods of time throughout the day. Even if you meet the current physical activity guidelines of 30-60 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity most days of the week, you can still be at increased risk of chronic illness if you sit for the majority of your waking hours. What else can I do to increase my physical activity levels? The good news is that you donâ€™t have to do a great deal more to increase your physical activity. Even little things, such as getting up to get a glass of water, going to the toilet or having a stretch can help to break up the time spent sitting and reduce your risk of chronic illness. It is important to continue with your regular 30 or more minutes of planned physical activity on most days of the week to gain many health benefits. Here are some simple activities that you can do that wonâ€™t take up much more of your time: Stand and take a break from your desk at least once every hour Walk over to your colleaguesâ€™ desks instead of phoning or emailing Drink more water, getting up to fill your glass and going to the toilet more often will break up your sitting time Eat your lunch away from your desk and go for a walk at lunchtime If you catch public transport, stand rather than sit and get on or off one stop earlier and walk the rest of the way Use the stairs wherever possible Park your car further away from your destination, and walk the rest of the way While watching television, do some household chores, such as folding clothes, washing dishes or ironing Play with your children or grandchildren at the park or in the backyard. Your children will benefit from more physical activity too. Always consult your doctor or health care team before starting any new type of physical activity.