Scientists Figured Out How Much Exercise You Need to ‘Offset’ a Day of Sitting – A Spiritual Insight


This study [1] examined over 44,000 men and women for a period of 4 to 14.5 years during the length of this study. During the study, 3,451 participants passed away which provides a 7.8% mortality rate. This study was designed to discover associations between different combinations of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity and sedentary time had on mortality.


  1. Ekelund U, Tarp J, Fagerland MW, et al, Joint associations of accelerometer-measured physical activity and sedentary time with all-cause mortality: a harmonised meta-analysis in more than 44 000 middle-aged and older individuals, British Journal of Sports Medicine 2020;54:1499-1506.

This study suggests we need around 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity exercise each day to counteract a ten hour day of sitting behind a computer. The researchers noted that standing also helps to some extent. The study looked at nine previous studies looking at the mortality rates among those with a sedentary life. They concluded that those who engaged in moderate to vigorous activities, when their activity went down their risk of death went up. The results of the study determined that when one engages in 30 to 40 minutes of exercise, the mortality rates were comparable to those who had low amounts of sedentary time. This means putting in some time exercising such as walking, cycling, gardening, etc can lower the risk of an early death. Basically this means that we have to keep moving, our bodies were not made to sit still! The research was based on data obtained from fitness trackers providing non-objective data for the study, as opposed to opinionated data which may be biased. Fitness trackers provide raw data which eliminates the biases of those who selected /recorded it, designed it and processed it. Objective data is subjectively designed whereas non-objective data is reality based data acquisition. The world health organization guidelines recommends 150-300 minutes of moderate intensity and 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity every week to offset sedentary behavior.

The Spiritual Insights that we receive from this type of research is related to this idea of sedentary lifestyles versus those which are more active, and the idea of adding in exercise to offset the sedentary behavior. The parallel we have based upon the research is related to the amount of time we spend in God’s Word as opposed to the amount of time we spend not even thinking about God, about Yeshua the Messiah, about the righteous things of the Lord, what are wholesome and true and praise worthy, etc. (Phillipians 4:8) The one question many of us may have asked is how much time should we spend with God on a daily basis. What does the scientific research draw out for us? Should we spend 15 min, or 30 min, or 60 min a day with the Lord, or more? What does it mean to spend time with God? We note that some people describe this as their quiet time or daily devotions when asked this question. There is more to this question than simply having quiet time, or just reading the bible, when it comes to spending time with God. Paul described these things in the following way:

1 Corinthians 10:31
10:31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (NASB, וּבְכֵן אִם תֹּאכְלוּ אוֹ תִּשְׁתּוּ, אוֹ כָּל מַה שֶּׁתַּעֲשׂוּ –– עֲשׂוּ אֶת הַכֹּל לְמַעַן כְּבוֹד אֱלֹהִים.)

Philippians 4:8
4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 4:9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (NASB, סוֹף דָּבָר, אַחַי, כָּל אֲשֶׁר אֱמֶת, כָּל מַה שֶׁנִּכְבָּד, כָּל דָּבָר יָשָׁר, טָהוֹר, מָלֵא נֹעַם, כָּל אֲשֶׁר שִׁמְעוֹ טוֹב, כָּל מַעֲשֶׂה נַעֲלֶה, וְכָל דָּבָר הָרָאוּי לְשֶׁבַח –– בְּאֵלֶּה יֶהְגֶּה לְבַבְכֶם. 9 הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר לְמַדְתֶּם וְקִבַּלְתֶּם וּשְׁמַעְתֶּם מִמֶּנִּי, וַאֲשֶׁר רְאִיתֶם בִּי –– אוֹתָם עֲשׂוּ; וֵאלֹהֵי הַשָּׁלוֹם יִהְיֶה עִמָּכֶם.)

Paul told the Corinthians that וּבְכֵן אִם תֹּאכְלוּ אוֹ תִּשְׁתּוּ, אוֹ כָּל מַה שֶּׁתַּעֲשׂוּ “whether you eat, or drink, or all that you do,” עֲשׂוּ אֶת הַכֹּל לְמַעַן כְּבוֹד אֱלֹהִים “do all for the purpose of the glory of God.” These things suggest there is more to just simply reading the bible. We are to put God’s words into action in our lives in order to bring Him glory! Norte that just thinking in our heads, or saying “I believe,” does not bring glory to God, this is why “faithfulness” is so important, because “being faithful” is putting God’s Word into action, and demonstrates that we are listening, we are hearing, we do truly believe, because our lives are demonstrating this truth! We must have a testimony for the power of God in our lives to transform us! In Phillipians Paul describes our state of mind, כָּל אֲשֶׁר אֱמֶת, כָּל מַה שֶׁנִּכְבָּד, כָּל דָּבָר יָשָׁר, טָהוֹר “all that is true, all that is honorable, all that is upright, pure” these are to be kept in our hearts (בְּאֵלֶּה יֶהְגֶּה לְבַבְכֶם). Why do you think it is so important that we have the correct state of mind? The reason being, the things that are conceived in the heart, in the mind this leads to action, whether of sin or of righteousness. This is why Yeshua warned us to watch what we look at and listen to because these things fill our heart and mind with either sin or righteousness. (see Mishley / Proverbs 4:20–22, Matthew 6:22, Mark 9:47) This is why there is much value in setting time to read God’s Word, and we are given a lifetime to spend applying God’s Word to our lives! Very often we think of spending time with HaShem as taking place behind closed doors and in isolation. There is a time however when we leave that place of isolation to work, our jobs, be involved in relationships, marriage, children, etc. We should not get caught up in the idea of spending time with the Lord as a clock-in clock-out basis like a job, or out of formality. We are not to simply choose to live godly lives part of the day, then ungodly lives the remainder. Faith does not work like this, faithfulness is to be consistent!

The truth of these things is drawn out when we study the ancient languages of the people of Israel. Take for example, the Hebrew word for life is חַיִּים (chayim). This word is written in the plural form; this implies that life cannot be lived alone. Look closely at the Hebrew word חַיִּים Chayim, there are two consecutive letters Yod (יי). This represents the Name of God, as representing unity in plurality. This reminds us of the Shema (Devarim / Deuteronomy 6:4). This is also why we read what we do in the Hebrew bible אֱלהִים חַיִּים (Elohim Chayim) meaning “the Living God.” The construction of the Hebrew language and the biblical text illustrates for us that it is only when we join ourselves with God that we truly are alive! In addition to this, if we divide the word חַיִּים in half חַיִּ|ים we get two words, חי (alive, life) and אם (if) suggesting that our being alive is conditional upon our union with God and we remain in His truth. This is why we read Yeshua saying according to John 3:36 the following, הַמַּאֲמִין בַּבֵּן יֵשׁ לוֹ חַיֵּי עוֹלָם, אַךְ הַמְסָרֵב לְהַאֲמִין בַּבֵּן לֹא יִרְאֶה חַיִּים, אֶלָּא חֲרוֹן אֱלֹהִים חָל עָלָיו.״ “The one who believes in the Son has eternal life; but the one who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” The one who believes (joins himself) with the Son will have eternal life (חַיֵּי עוֹלָם); whoever refuses the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God (חֲרוֹן אֱלֹהִים חָל עָלָיו) is upon him. This means that life, peace, truth, and the presence of God are inextricably connected. Those who reject Yeshua, separate themselves from unity with God! John wrote in his epistle 1 John 5:12 saying, מִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ הַבֵּן יֵשׁ לוֹ הַחַיִּים. מִי שֶׁאֵין לוֹ הַבֵּן אֵין לוֹ הַחַיִּים “Whoever has the son, has life, and whoever does not have the son, does not have life.” Because God is אֱלהִים חַיִּים (Elohim Chayim) the God of life, we cannot choose to opt out of our responsibility to live before God. Every person on this earth is faced with the Living God, to live before Him. There is no way to avoid Him as some suppose is possible in this life. This is why Moshe wrote according to Devarim / Deuteronomy 30:19, הַחַיִּים וְהַמָּוֶת נָתַתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ הַבְּרָכָה וְהַקְּלָלָה וּבָחַרְתּ “life and death I give before you, the blessing and the curse, and you are to choose.” We note how we are given a choice, and Moshe admonishes us to choose life! This is how Yeshua admonished us as well saying, אֵין הַגַּנָּב בָּא אֶלָּא לִגְנֹב וְלַהֲרֹג וּלְהַשְׁמִיד. אֲנִי בָּאתִי כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיוּ לָהֶם חַיִּים וּבְשֶׁפַע שֶׁיִּהְיוּ לָהֶם “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

The Scientific research [1] deals with those who have a sedentary life and makes recommendations on the amount of physical exercise that is needed in order to offset the sedentary behavior. The reason is for the purpose of choosing life as the more sedentary lifestyles leads to higher mortality rates (shorter life span). This draws out the idea that if we are not studying God’s Word, and living our faith, this will lead to a high mortality rate for our spiritual life and our relationship with God! The purpose of remaining in the Word of God is for encouragement, challenge, and building up. When we are struggling, stressed, discouraged, and need reassurance and hope, we can go to God’s Word. Taking time to read God’s Word reminds us of God’s love, and the joy that only He is able to provide for us. The Scriptures encourage and emboldens us in our faith, and this is needed each and every day! We are challenged because we are called to listen intently, to diligently obey God’s commands. We are to be doers of the word and lit just listeners only. (James 1:22) This leads to our being fruit bearers, walking in the ways of God, in His truth, and doing so we become aware of God’s will for our lives and the calling that He desires for us. The word builds us up, edifies, as we grow in the spirit, in character, and in the grace and knowledge of God and His Messiah Yeshua. Yeshua provided a living example for our lives, and it is only by reading the Scriptures that we are able to better understand who Yeshua is, and how His faithful followers should live. Most importantly, the gift of God which is eternal life by believing in what Yeshua has done on our behalf, and then taking that gift and giving glory to God in the joy of listening and obeying to His holy Word!