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
- 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
The only way to effectively combat the “sitting disease” is to engage in
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
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
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.