What exactly is sedentary behaviour? Sedentary behaviour is not the same as not getting enough physical activity. The definition of sedentary behaviour by "Sedentary Behaviour Research Network" is any waking behaviour of <1.5 metabolic equivalent (MET) in a sitting, lying down or reclining posture. Examples of sedentary behaviour includes long hours of sitting, driving or laying on the couch.

You could be both physically active and sedentary at the same time. If you're exercising 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes per day, but you sit for more than 8 hours per day at work or when you get off work, you could be at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. In a recent cross-sectional study across 44978 employees by Kallings et al. (2021), employees who reported sitting almost all the time at work generally have poorer health and back/neck pain.

The global recommendations on physical activity for general health is at least 150 minutes of exercise per week or 30 minutes of exercise for 5 days per week of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise per week. Moderate intensity exercise can be defined as 60% to 70% of maximum intensity when you start to perspire and increase your heart rate and breathing. We would normally recommend the 'talk test' to generally assess your exercise intensity by exercising to the point where you can still talk but cannot sing.

Here are some lifestyle tips to get your started with reducing your sedentary behaviour

1. Use any opportunity for movement

This includes reducing motorised time or sitting down on the bus/train. You can try to get off one station before your destination to walk the distance. Try to take short breaks from long periods of sitting by standing up and walking to get coffee or say hi! to a friend. To reach that 30-minutes a day of physical activity, you can break it down to 10-minutes each time, 3 times a day.

2. Start getting healthier by WALKING

Walking is a great starting point if you haven't been exercising for a long time. You can start tracking your steps each day as your baseline. Nearly every smartphone has a pedometer installed or your can easily download a step counter from the app store and start tracking. Just increasing your steps by 2000 steps a day is an achievable goal. So let's get walking.

3. HIIT workouts for those who do not have time

HIIT workout consists of short bouts of intense exercise for a short duration of time is a quick and effective workout for the general population especially for those who do not have enough time on their hands. It is a great way to get your daily dose of workout without requiring much time. Click on the link below for a 3-minutes workout routine by one of our coaches.

4. Dedicate your time to being more active on the weekends

The rise of weekend warriors (people who exercise intensely on weekend when they have spare time) are becoming more common with our hectic work schedule. It has been said that the health benefits of 5-days a week exercise may be equivalent to the weekend warrior workout routine. Why not challenge yourself to a hike and explore Hong Kong at the same time? Click HERE to see the list for "Best Hiking trails in Hong Kong" by Time Out Hong Kong.

5. Any physical activity movement is better than no movement at all.

If you're thinking to yourself "Are you sitting too often?", you probably are. So stand up, move around for 5 minutes after every hour of sitting. Break up long periods of sitting as often as possible.

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Outdoor exercise in a natural setting (i.e sea, parks, fields, rivers) has plenty of health-enhancing benefits that we will highlight in this article. Exercising outdoors combines the best of both worlds by helping you step outside for fresh air and boost your physical and mental health.

Here are five benefits of getting your sweat on with outdoor workout!

1.Improving your mood

Outdoor exercise provides a mental health boost, improves your cognitive ability and brain memory. If you’re working from home and stuck in a rut, try grabbing lunch outside or take a walk to your nearest cafe. This short bout of increased physical activity can immediately put you in a better and more productive mood.

2.Healthy dose of Vit-D

Our bodies create Vitamin D when sunlight hits our skin, Vitamin D offers significant immune-boosting benefits, as well as playing an important role in the maintenance of healthy bones, teeth and muscles.

3. Inhale the fresh air

Most of us aren’t lucky enough to live close to a park or the coastlines but a short walk or run outside increases vitality and enhances your health. When you start moving more, your body will automatically start to get healthier.

4. Open space creates a safer environment

We live in interesting times where the more open space we have while exercising, the safer it is for everyone. All you need for a quick effective workout is a good set of earphones and a fun workout program that you can easily choose from online or book an instructor with us!

5. Try something new and challenge yourself.

If you’re tired of being stuck indoors all day in an office setting or working from home, why not try to take your workout outdoors. Most exercise programs are versatile and easy to replicate in an outdoor setting which may be even more challenging! Trick your body into trying a new workout to burn extra calories and fat. Personal Trainers often have a range of equipment that can be used outdoors, such as dumbbells and barbells, so training outdoors is one sure way of taking your workout to the next level and keeping things interesting!

Find a personal trainer on our page and get in touch with the personal trainer who best suits you or click HERE to book a session with us!

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We constantly get asked a wide variety of questions from our members and we have compiled some of the most common exercise myths we have heard. We're here to tell you if it is true or false. Now, let's gear up!

1. Do I have to work up a sweat when I am physically active for it to count?

Not necessarily. Moving your body and raising your heart rate relative to your fitness level is the most important element of physical activity. The main purpose of sweating is to cool your body down. You may sweat when you are physically active even when you are not exercising such as gardening or walking to work. If you’re a beginner to exercise, start slowly and you can expect to secrete sweat from the skin. Or, if you’re older and you don’t seem to sweat as much you used to, you may not sweat. If you are moving your body more than you usually do, you are already working towards better fitness regardless of whether you sweat or not.

2. Exercise turns fat into muscle.

False. Exercise cannot turn fat into muscle because every type of cell is unique and cannot transform from one form to another. However with exercise, particularly strength training helps build muscle, which helps you burn more calories and lose fat.

3. Abdominal crunches will make you lose belly fat.

False. You can’t control which part of your body will lose fat when you are physically active. Genetics plays a big part in controlling body composition and shape. Crunches will simply strengthen your abdominal muscles, which are underneath the layer of belly fat. However, if you balance the calories you eat with exercise to reach a desirable body weight, hopefully you will lose fat from various parts of your body, including your belly.

4. Simply reducing sedentary behaviors is not enough to improve physical fitness.

False. Research shows that cutting back on sedentary activities, such as television viewing or video games will encourage you to be more physically active. In fact, a 70 kilogram (154 lb) person who adds two (cumulative) hours per day of light movement such as leisure walking as part of a regular routine can lose an extra 15 kilograms (33 lbs) of weight per year. So, if you’re standing up, you’re already on your way to becoming healthier!

5. Restricting calories is the best way to lose weight.

False. Research has shown that changing your eating behaviors to lose weight works better in combination with exercise. Aerobic exercise burns the most calories while strength training builds more muscles to burn calories! An effective exercise training plan paired with a healthy diet is a winning game plan to achieve your desired weight goal.

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