Long Stretches of Sitting Just as Bad as Daily Sum
If you’re aware of the Sitting Disease, then you know that it’s important to reduce the overall amount of time you spend sitting. You know how important that is because you want to keep your energy up, your stress level down, and you want to avoid serious chronic isues like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
But did you know that reducing the total number of hours you spend sitting may not be enough?
A recent study shows that sitting for long stretches of time may be just as detrimental to your health as sitting around for long periods of time.
“We tend to think of sedentary behavior as just the sheer volume of how much we sit around each day,” says Keith Diaz, PhD, associate research scientist in the Department of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center and lead investigator of the study. “But previous studies have suggested that sedentary patterns—whether an individual accrues sedentary time through several short stretches or fewer long stretches of time—may have an impact on health.”
“This one behavior change could reduce your risk of death.”
Before we get too much further, let’s acknowledge the importance of getting the overall amount of time you spend sitting down as low as possible. On average, Americans sit for more than 8 hours each day, so we’ve get to lower that number as much as we can.
Next, we need to be aware of how long we’ve been sitting for. It can be helpful to look at the clock as you’re sitting down and then look again to see when you’re standing up. If you’ve been sitting for too long, set a timer the next time you know you’ll be sitting doing that same activity.
“If you have a job or lifestyle where you have to sit for prolonged periods of time, we suggest taking a movement break every half hour,” says Dr. Diaz. “This one behavior change could reduce your risk of death.”
Want a built-in break reminder?
A lot of people are stuck sitting for long periods of time at work, in the car, and at home. SwingMove is an app of exercises that are quick and easy to do standing, sitting, or lying down. Done regularly, SwingMove reduces the health risks associated with sitting disease, including cardiovascular issues, diabetes, and some types of cancer.