Sedentary Interruptions

Emblem for Skin Support Module - Regular Sedentary Interruptions for Skin Health

Executive Summary

Sedentary interruptions are required to counteract the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle and can improve your metabolism, blood sugar control and cardiovascular health; taken together these factors could lead to healthier sebum production.


Many of us spend the majority of our days sitting (sedentary) for extended durations.

Unfortunately, this behavior has a detrimental effect on our health. And some specific negative impacts of prolonged sedentary time include:

  • Cardiovascular disease [1, 2]
  • Metabolic syndrome [3, 4]
  • Obesity [5]
  • Increased risk of cancer [6, 7]
  • Increased risk of type 2 diabetes [8]
  • Depression [9]

Worst of all, it appears that engaging in moderate/extreme physical activity does not entirely offset these negative effects. So, simply going to the gym after work is just not going to cut it.

Research on the subject has shown that one of the best ways to reduce the negative impact of sitting is to regularly get up and engage in light to moderate physical activity.

Documented Benefits

Specific benefits of interrupting sedentary activity include [10, 11, 12]:

  • Improved metabolism function
  • Improved blood sugar control
  • Improved triglyceride levels
  • Reduce levels of fatigue

Why It’s Important for Inflammatory Skin Disease

Characteristics most important for individuals affected by inflammatory skin disorders:

  • Improved blood glucose control
  • Improved metabolism and triglyceride levels

Expected improvements:

  • Balanced sebum production
  • Improved sebum composition and stability

Ideas for Integration

The key to making sedentary interruptions a habit is to have a simple trigger and a easy to start action.

The trigger can be an hourly chime on your watch, an alert from your smart-phone or some other event that occurs at regular intervals during your sedentary time. The simplest and most straightforward trigger is an alert on your watch or smart-phone which goes off every 30-60 minutes.

The action can be a a single exercise, a short exercise routine, or a simple stretch routine. The main thing is it should be easy enough and short enough that you actually do it.

Here is an example of my trigger and action:

  • Trigger: chime on my watch set to repeat every 45 minutes
  • Action: jumping jacks (will add variation once it becomes a habit)

Additional Notes

  • If your work is primarily done at a desk, investing in a sit/stand desk may be worth it
  • Activity trackers (such as the FitBit) often include simple reminders to keep you active

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