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Sitting really is the new smoking

September 21, 2017

 

 They didn't get here by sitting in a chair all day

 

 

I feel very blessed that I have a job that allows me to be on my feet all day. Using the app on my

I-phone allows me to keep track of my steps and I typically log 20,000-25,000 steps on a working day. The reality is that I never sit down, but spending the day roaming around the weight room instructing and giving feedback. I live near by so I walk to and from work and walk home and back for lunch. I have lifting and exercise sessions 5 days a week as well. Generally I feel pretty good. In fact, for 62 years old, probably great. I have no problems falling asleep at night.

 It's on the weekends that I find out how debilitating sitting can be. Because we live in a pretty remote area, going to any kind of medical appointment or shopping requires 4-5 hours in a car round trip. Invariably when I get out of the car after such a drive, my knees hurt and my back and neck are stiff,  Sitting through a 2 hour movie with my wife is like torture if we can't find a seat in the back where I can stand up now and then. This past weekend we watched my granddaughter play in a Volleyball tournament. Getting up and moving around was the only way I could bear it.

The article below gives some evidence of why this is the case.  Even if you are exercising and lifting on a regular basis, prolonged sitting is debilitating. If you have a job that requires sitting, be sure to get up and move around as often as possible. Consider getting a desk setup that allows you to stand or use a stability ball for a chair. Take charge and be creative. Don't sit yourself to poor health.

 

More than 40 percent of working people are sitting at a desk from 9-5, and researchers have calculated that this prolonged sedentary behavior contributed to some 433,000 deaths a year from 2002 through 2011.

If you're not taking a break every half-hour, then it might be time to do so. In fact, making this one change in your daily routine could reduce your risk of death, according to a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Even for people who go to the gym, sitting for excessive amounts of time — in a single stretch — has a greater risk of early death, the study showed. Not to mention the long list of health problems and illnesses that are related to sedentary behavior.

"This study adds to the growing literature on how dangerous long periods of sitting are for our health, and underscores a growing awareness among clinicians and researchers that sitting really is the new smoking," said study co-author Monika Safford, M.D.

Though previous studies have linked sedentary behavior to early risk of death, none has reported on how much time individuals should actually be active for, thus hindering the relationship between risk of death and inactivity. The results of this new study showed that sitting around accounted for 77 percent of the total waking hours for the average individual, meaning that more than 12 hours a day are being spent inactive.

"The lack of activity in our muscles affects our ability to metabolize our sugars efficiently," Dr. David Alter told Reuters. "Over time, our body accumulates excess fat, which can lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and death."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults need at least one of the following options for physical activity:

  • 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (brisk walking) every week and muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week that work all major muscle groups including legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms.

  • 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (jogging, running) every week and muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week that work all major muscle groups including legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms.

  • An equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week that work all major muscle groups including legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms.

The CDC notes that 150 minutes may seem like a lot, but the exercise doesn't have to be all at one time. As long as you're doing physical activity, just 10 minutes at a time will suffice.

"Per national physical activity guidelines, clinicians should continue to encourage patients with obesity to participate in moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity for at least 150 minutes/week to improve their cardiovascular and metabolic health," Wendy C. King, PhD, toldEndocrine Today.

"It only makes sense that those short-term changes translate over time to more profound changes in the risk for diseases linked to sedentary behavior," Dr. James A. Levine told the Los Angeles Times.

   

About the Author

Jessica Taylor is the medical editor for MultiBriefs and has been a journalist and writer for more than 10 years. Jessica received her bachelor's degree in communications with a dual concentration in media studies and journalism from Virginia Wesleyan College. She’s been awarded first place in headline writing from the Virginia Press Association and an honorable mention for design and content from the Society of Collegiate Journalists.

 

 

 

 Smart kids

 

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