A New Health Hazard Heavyweight: Sitting


This might be a typical day for a modern working woman: you’ve just spent most of your day sitting in front of your computer or on the phone, not to count the commute time sitting in traffic or on the bus.  Now you’re home and ready to unwind from a long day on a lounge chair to watch TV or read for a few hours.  Pump the breaks – you might want to rewind this and think again.   Research shows that sitting for long periods of time can take quite a toll on your health, so let’s see how this can happen.

If you are sitting more than any other activity, then you are at risk (according to Mayo Clinic).  Researchers have linked a whole list of health concerns to the sedentary lifestyle; including high blood pressure, high cholesterol & triglycerides and an increasing waistline, not to mention muscle fatigue and possible back/neck stress.

What’s more amazing is the fact that research shows that it doesn’t seem to make a difference even if you are exercising on a regular basis (5 days/30 min.).  If you are still sitting for hours at a time, then your body is not getting the movement it needs to maintain proper circulation and muscle use to process the fats and sugars in our system. According to Dr. James Levine, who wrote the book “Get Up!”, every hour we sit we lose two hours of our life.  He is considered one of the first to believe that our excessive sitting is more dangerous to our health than smoking.  He is also credited with developing the successful concept of the treadmill desk as part of his work at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona.


The good news is that if you take frequent breaks to stand or walk around, then you are lessening the damage of sitting.  Take the stairs rather than the elevator to visit a co-worker.  Try standing throughout the day when you are talking on the phone.  Inside or out, take a walk during your lunch break.  Every half hour or so, you should be getting up off that chair.  If you’re an at-home entrepreneur, then consider a desk treadmill.  According to The American Institute for Cancer Research “evidence suggests that key indicators of cancer risk are lower when prolonged sitting is interrupted with brief (1-2 minute) breaks.”  


These small changes can have a big impact on your health, so get moving.

 Photo Source: Dollar Photo Club






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