Sitting Disease could be the new smoking

We all know that sitting for long periods of time is not good for our body, but is it deadly? Recent studies show that sitting for hours leads to a whole host of chronic illness, regardless of your age.

Think about how many hours in the day you sit. Driving to work, sitting at work, eating your meals, watching TV.

Because I work from home I miss the commute to work. I also have a dog who gets me out walking throughout the day. Often times I will do a load of laundry or dishes during my day, yet from all the studies I have read I still sit way to long during my day. Since I also suffer with fibromyalgia I know only too well that sitting in one position for too long will cause me pain and suffering so I do tend to move around a lot during the day, but some days I will get into a project or writing recipes on the computer and before I know it I have been sitting way longer than I had planned.

  • 50-70 percent of people spend six or more hours a day sitting
  • 20-25 percent of people spend four or more hours watching TV or in front of the computer

Here are some concerning highlights of a sedentary lifestyle:

  • Time spent sitting is strongly associated with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, and increased risk of heart disease
  • The increased risk of metabolic syndrome may be up to 73%, with a possible 7% increase for every 2 hours being sedentary
  • The increased risks do not appear to be significantly reduce by regular physical exercise
  • Preliminary evidence suggests and association between sitting and cancer
  • The increased risk of cancer in several studies was between 13%- 30%
  • The risk is dose dependent- the longer you sit, both at work and during leisure, the greater the risk
  • Sedentary behavior (sitting) is estimated to contribute to 6% of all deaths
  • This compares with 8.7% from smoking, 5.5% for insufficient physical exercise and 4.8% for obesity

Experts agree that being more active means moving during the day. So how are some of the ways you can ward off “sitting disease”? Here are some suggestions

  • Stand more often- set a timer to remind you to get up
  • Stand while talking on the phone
  • Wear a pedometer and count your steps
  • Park further away at the shopping mall
  • Take the stairs in your office building or when you go to the doctor or dentist

Does your work place offer alternatives to sitting on the job? Many workplaces are now offering standing desks. The problem with standing desk or ergonomic chairs is that we are still staying in one position. Whether you are standing or sitting we need to move.

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