Sitting is the New Smoking? Really?

Incredible statistics compiled from multiple studies that demonstrate why sitting is the new smoking

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We were not designed to sit

Human physiology is that of the hunter gatherer. We were built to move; run, lift, play, hunt, farm, build, and fight. Our bones, nerves, muscles and ligaments are suited for motion. Our ancestors worked the fields, captured their food, raised livestock, fought rival groups, built their homes and crafted their necessities. They did not sit at a computer for 9 hours then go home and plop their fat asses on the couch for 3 more.

Sitting gives us back and neck problems and desk jobs bring on everything from eye issues to carpal tunnel syndrome. It can also be argued that the sedentary lifestyle nurtured by an office job creates stresses and anxiety that are the root of mental and physical problems – or simply making you act like a douchebag. For example, sports and martial arts provide an outlet for our ancient instincts for competition and conflict that would otherwise be pent up within only to come out in an explosive, expletive and middle-finger fueled outburst of road rage.

Just take a look at some of these statistics then assess your lifestyle:

Sitting makes us fat!

  • Between 1980 and 2000 exercise rates remained the same while sitting time increased 8% (thanks computers and cable!) and obesity doubled!
  • Calorie burning drops to one per minute – ugh
  • Of the people that sit and watch TV for 3 hours a day it doesn’t matter if they exercise or not, they are equally as fat

Your internal systems react poorly to prolonged sitting

  • Enzymes produced by your body that help breakdown fat decrease by 90%
  • Good cholesterol or HDL drops by 20%
  • Electrical activity in leg muscles shuts off
  • Insulin effectiveness plummets nearly 25%

It really is killing you

  • Each extra hour of television watching equals an 11% higher death risk
  • Those that sit 3 hours per day are 64% more likely to die of heart disease
  • Sitting 6 or more hours per day makes you 40% more likely to die within 15 years than someone who sits less than 3 hours per day

What can you do?

Get active. Play a sport, take a martial art, do yoga, and get to the gym and workout! Get a personal trainer for inspiration and motivation. These are all necessary steps but they are not enough in the war against sitting. Get back to your roots and do yard work and gardening. Even this doesn’t help that much if you have a desk job. You need to change how you work and break up your sitting time:

  • Sit at 135 degrees (slightly reclined)
  • Use a ball chair or better yet a standing desk
  • Get up and walk for a few minutes several times throughout the day
  • Walk your stairwell at work on your break and use the stairs instead of the elevator
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    Try a sit-to-stand desk

  • Get up and stretch
  • Close the office door and do some jumping jacks

It’s simple. Do what your body was designed to do and be creative when it comes to ideas on how to mitigate and break-up your sitting time at work. See you in the gym!

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