Stand up and read this article; doing so might lower your chances of cancer, cardiovascular problems, and type 2 diabetes. That means that just three minutes of standing could lengthen your life. Here’s how…
Dangers of Sitting Outweigh Benefits of Regular Exercise?
Most Americans sit too much. The economy is largely based around desk jobs and your social life is likely also centered on sitting. Whether you’re out for dinner with friends, taking in a show, reading, or watching a television program, you’re on your butt. And new research is showing that all this sitting can kill you prematurely, even if you’re getting exercise every day.
A research team from Toronto, Canada is saying that an hour a day of moderate or intense exercise won’t do much for you if you spend the rest of the day sitting. One hour in the gym, on the bike, or going for a jog will do very little, if anything, to stymie the health impacts of eight to 12-plus hours of being sedentary. So even if you’re riding your bike or walking to work, but spending the next eight hours sitting down, you’re not really reducing your risk for early death.
Why Is Standing Better for Your Health?
One of the main reasons that researchers believe they’re seeing little impact from moderate exercise is that humans are designed to be upright. The thinking is that when you’re upright, your body releases hormones and other chemicals into the blood that aren’t released when you’re sitting or lying down. So things like HDL cholesterol, for example, are not in proper circulation.
The World Health Organization has identified physical inactivity as the fourth-leading cause of death around the world. And with the dangers of sitting outweighing the benefit of exercise, it’s something you must be aware of if you want to improve your health.
The more exercise you get, the lower your chances of experiencing the impacts of a sedentary life. But it’s not just about getting to the gym for an hour a day; it’s about making changes to how you spend the rest of your waking hours.
Tips for Decreasing the Time You Spend Sitting Each Day
Being aware of how much time you spend sitting or laying down is the first place to start. Once you’ve identified how long you’re in a sedentary state, you can begin to cut it back a bit each week. If you’re on your butt at work all day, try and get up once per half-hour and walk around or stand for one to three minutes (enough time to grab a glass of water, take a quick washroom break, or read an e-mail or two standing up).
If you’re watching television in the evenings, stand up or walk around during commercials—don’t fast-forward through them on the PVR. Of course, finding ways to include more exercise and active outings is also recommended. The more time you’re up and at it, the less chance you have of becoming sick with a condition associated with too much sitting.
Also Read: Is It Healthy to Exercise When You’re Sick?
Sources for Today’s Article:
Biswas, A., et al., “Sedentary Time and Its Association With Risk for Disease Incidence, Mortality, and Hospitalization in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,” Annals of Internal Medicine 2015; 162(2): 123–132, doi: 10.7326/M14-1651.
Christensen, J., “Sitting will kill you, even if you exercise,” CNN web site, January 21, 2015; http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/21/health/sitting-will-kill-you/index.html.