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Sitting Too Much Can Be As Deadly As Smoking

Added May 20, 2017, Under: Diseases, Health

Young woman at home with a tablet and a dog

You may be exercising regularly or you may be eating a healthy diet but if you spend too much time sitting, this can be as dangerous as being a smoker.

Being a smoker is often held up as an example of dangerous living and seems to have now become the bench mark by which your habits (good or bad) are defined.

Here are some examples of the dangers of too much sitting

  • Your risk of diabetes increases by 3.4% for each hour spent watching TV daily.
  • Too much sitting can increase the risk of developing multiple myeloma cancer – by up to 43%.
  • Sitting 6 or more hours per day during their free time increases a woman’s risk of invasive breast cancer by 10% compared with those who sit less than 3 hours.
  • But the risk of ovarian cancer is even higher with the same circumstances giving a 43% higher risk.
  • Colon cancer is yet another cancer on this list.  Those who sit most of the time face a 24% higher risk than those who sit the least.
  • Chronic sitting increase your risk of swollen ankles, blood cl0ts, swelling, pain and deep vein thrombosis.

How to eliminate the dangers of sitting for long hours

  • By changing from the habit of sitting – and being too comfortable – to getting on to our feet as much as possible.
  • By making sure we have an hour of moderate activity, such as brisk walking, to offset the harm that sitting for eight hours can have.

New research has shown that there is a big difference between exercising too little and sitting too much.  This is because a standing body uses energy altogether differently from a sedentary body—and also from an exercising one. We burn calories at a different rate, store them in different ways, and our brains function differently, too.  One experiment with high school kids found that standing in class instead of sitting improved their test scores by 20%.

  • By understanding that the human body is designed to move.  A moving body has needs and it helps use up those calories to make sure every cell is doing what it’s supposed to do.
  • By being aware that those who sit at their desks most of the time only burn off 300  calories a day whereas someone who works on their feet for several hours a day can burn up to 1,300 extra calories every day.

When we eat meals, our bodies experience a surge in blood sugar that peaks about an hour after we eat. If we’re sedentary and relatively immobile, our muscles and cells aren’t soaking up that glucose to fuel its daily activities.

  • By thinking and planning, how you can become a stand-up person?  Change your work station to a standing one. Taking all phone calls on your feet.  Pacing up and down while you talk.  Keeping just a small glass of water on your desk so that you have to regularly walk to refill it.  Urging your work colleagues to try standing or walking meetings.

Something to consider is that just standing for three hours per day for a year can be the equivalent of running ten marathons.

 

Mature female doctor using desktop PC at desk in hospital

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