Have you heard that sitting today is now equivalent to smoking, when it comes to your health? This new health hazard happens when you sit down for more than 30 minutes at a time. On average, people sit for about 12 hours a day, and many of us do this 12 hours a day at work! It may not even matter that you exercise at some point in the day. Sitting over 30 minutes at a stretch has been shown to shorten your lifespan.
Here are some other ways sitting for long periods of time can cause havoc on your health:
It can hurt your heart
Sedentary behavior is associated with obesity, insulin resistance and fat deposition in the heart, all of which can lead to injury to heart cells.
Dementia is more likely in your future
Anything that reduces blood flow (such as long periods of inactivity) reduces brain function, especially in the areas of the brain that govern short-term memory. Sedentary behavior has been repeatedly associated with many chronic diseases, including cognitive impairment, and studies show the number of hours you spend sitting is proportional to your increased risk of Alzheimer’s.
You will undo your time at the gym
Studies have shown that vigorous physical activity doesn’t cancel out the negative impact of time spent being sedentary, which appears to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (the leading cause of death) and diabetes, even among people who exercise regularly.
Risk for Diabetes Increase
Studies have found that people who were more sedentary were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome than those who were less sedentary.
Cancer risk rises
Studies also found that two hours a day of sedentary behavior was linked to an 8% increase in colon cancer risk, a 10% increase in endometrial cancer risk and a 6% increase in risk for lung cancer.
What can you do today to stop the sitting cycle?
Use your smart phone
Set an alarm or reminder on your phone to stand up every 30 minutes. If you are at your desk it can be as simple as standing up and stretching, or just take a bathroom break or walk from your desk to the window. If you are watching TV do the same. Get up during a commercial break or just pause the TV (it will still be there when you are done!) The point is to just get active!
Purchase and use an activity tracker
Next, purchase an activity tracker. They may not be perfect, but they do a pretty good job of monitoring your activity level. There are many tracker options available at all different price levels. Each night monitor your results and try and beat it the next day. By trying to make it a game, and challenge yourself, you have a better chance of sticking with it.
Looking for a good activity tracker? We recommend this one
Giving you the most current and up to date advice on living a longer and active life.
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