“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV, and is more treacherous than parachuting,” says scientist and researcher Dr. James Levine. “We are sitting ourselves to death.” And while you may think Dr. Levine is exaggerating, research on the subject backs him up. It shows that prolonged sitting increases the risk of muscular problems, several types of cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Why is sitting so harmful?
Sitting over extended periods of time has a huge impact on the body. Your blood circulates slower and you burn less fat. Also, slumping into a chair leaves your back and stomach muscles disengaged. Ideally, you want to keep your muscles working throughout the day and sitting just doesn’t do that for you.
How do we combat our excessive sitting problem?
- Make a Plan. Simple lifestyle changes will help but they require a strong commitment to combating the effects of sitting. make a plan and stick to it!
- Buy a standing desk. This one small change can make a huge difference keeping you active and avoiding endless sitting.
- Walk. Build walking into you life wherever and whenever you can. Turn your meetings into “walk and talk” meetings. Get out for a 15-minute walk on your lunch break. Or, take a walk after dinner as a family instead of sitting in front of the TV.
- Stretch every day. Stretching helps with flexibility, posture, injury prevention, increased nutrition, and reduced soreness, but it also relieves tension and increases energy.
Get your family, friends, and coworkers to join-in too! Get moving and you’ll be surprised by how much better you feel!