You probably have heard by now that too much sitting is bad for your health, but is it as bad as smoking? There has been a lot written about the subject, and many facts to back up this idea.
The term “sitting disease” has been coined in the scientific community when referring to ill-effects of an overly sedentary lifestyle.
According to the Mayo Clinic, prolonged periods of sitting can lead to health concerns such as increased blood pressure, high blood sugar and excess body fat, as well as an increase in cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Any extended sitting at a desk, behind a wheel or in front of a computer screen can be harmful.
Studies have shown that subjects who sat for more than 8 hours a day with no physical activity had a similar risk of dying as those risks posed by smoking and obesity.
That is scary! But there is hope!
First if all, physically activity contributes to your overall health. Studies have also shown that moving during your time sitting will help offset the negative effects.
Here a few suggestions:
- Take a break from sitting every 20 minutes; get up walk around.
- Stand while talking on the phone or watching TV.
- If you work primarily at a desk, try using a standing desk.
- Walk with your colleagues to meetings.
- Park farther away from stores and restaurants.
- Use the stairs!
Every bit of movement you add to your day will add up to counter the negative effects of prolonged sitting. Think of it as food. If you were to eat one cookie per day for a year, you will gain 5 pounds. The impact of movement can be profound, and it’s cumulative just like the cookie.
So get up! Go for a walk! Move that body!