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There is a reason you keep hearing the phrase, “Sitting is the new smoking.” Like smoking, chronic sitting is a nasty habit. According to a study led by Dr. Wael Jaber, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, “Being unfit on a treadmill or in an exercise stress test has a worse prognosis, as far as death, than being hypertensive, diabetic or a current smoker.” He states that researchers must now convey the risks to the general public and that, “It should be treated almost as a disease that has a prescription, which is called exercise.” He also further states that research has concluded that fitness leads to a longer life and the benefits of moving are seen across all ages and genders.

Here are a few reasons you need to stop sitting and start moving more:

  • Chronic Disease: People who sit a lot tend to die earlier. Excessive sitting is associated with premature mortality from all causes, and the development of the “big three” killer diseases: heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
  • Obesity and Weight Gain: Calorie burning and fat metabolism practically shut down when you sit for too long, which can lead to conditions like metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes.
  • Back Pain: Excessive sitting can lead to or exacerbate chronic back and neck pain. Our bodies aren’t meant to remain in any static position for hours at a time.
  • Depression: Too little physical activity not only leads to current depressive symptoms, but also increases the likelihood of future symptoms.
  • Low Energy and Productivity: Sitting may be the reason for your afternoon slump. Many standing desk users report an increase in energy, focus and productivity.

The only way to effectively combat the “sitting disease” is to engage in modest activity. SwingMove can be an effective treatment for the “sitting disease”, and even doing one or two of the movements frequently can help you a great deal.

According to Fast Company, we talk a lot about the “sitting disease” now, but it was coined by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports in 2002 as the “Sedentary Death Syndrome” and it is a growing concern due to our seated lifestyles.

Medical Daily states that when you sit too long you may become moody, irritable and fatigued by the end of the workday and this might have negative psychological effects.

A study by Victoria University and University of Queensland analyzed 8,950 women over several years monitoring three areas: those who sat more than seven hours a day had a 47% higher depressive rate than those who sat for only four hours per day. Women who did no physical activities had a 99% higher risk of depressive symptoms. The authors noted that, “Increasing physical activity…can alleviate current depression and prevent future symptoms”.

The American Journal of Epidemiology did a study in 2010 on the correlation between sitting and an individual’s physical health. Of the 53,440 men and 69,776 women who were disease free at the beginning of the study, 14 years later there were 11,307 deaths in men and 7,923 women. The findings were that women who sat for more than 6 hours a day had 40% higher all-cause death rate and men had an 20% higher death rate.

A Mayo Clinic study compared the likelihood of death for people who spend less than 2 hours a day sitting to those who spend more than 4 hours a day sitting and found a 50% increased risk of death for the more sedentary group.

In a nutshell, sitting less and moving more helps you feel better now and perhaps will add to your lifespan long term.

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