Sitting: The surprising ways it affects your health.


Can you think of something most people do every single day that could be leading to early onset of old age and chronic disease? Poor diet is one obvious answer. And what else? The answer? Sitting. And even worse? Sitting in poor posture. Are you surprised? The average American spends between 7 and 9 hours sitting. Prolonged sitting, especially with poor posture and head forward posture has a profound impact on the health and well being of many Americans.

image of man sitting with poor posture
Sitting, combined with poor posture can create health problems

Are you willing to waste up to 40% of your life expectancy?

Scientific research study on sitting has shown clear links between to a number of health concerns. Included in this list are: obesity, metabolic syndrome, elevated blood pressure, high blood sugar, elevated cholesterol, belly fat and increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease. YIKES! That is a big list!

Another study showed that sitting in front of the television or other screen media for 4 hours instead of 2 hours per day led to 50% increase of death (any cause) and over 100% increase in cardiovascular symptoms like chest pain or heart attack. In short, you are twice as likely to have heart symptoms if you sit for 4 or more hours per day.

The illness associated with sitting happens whether it is screen related or not. The research shows that ANY prolonged sitting such as desk work, driving, or entertainment oriented can have elevated risk of poor health. Also found was that exercise intervals like going to the gym a few times per week had little effect on health as long as the participants still sat for long periods. That was the gripper for me. Exercise alone does not undo the health effects of prolonged sitting!

Some people have chosen standing desks to help offset the problems with sitting. The latest research on standing desks challenges these ideas. Simply standing at a desk imparts few of the health benefits of walking more throughout the day. So, with that in mind, here are a few tips to keep yourself  moving.

Image of man sitting and slouching in bad posture
Does this posture look familiar to you?

Stand up and walk while you are on the phone.

Take frequent breaks, get a drink of water or get some thinking done.

Set an alarm to go off every hour so you can remember to get up and move!

These are just a few simple ideas to keep moving. Can you think of more? Clinically, I find that people who do not walk regularly and just sit at work or at home tend to deteriorate rapidly. Weight is gained, energy gets lowered. These are followed by loss of strength and motivation leading to early onset of debilitating illness.

So, to stay healthy, don’t sit too much! Keep moving and be well.

Contact our office if you would like to learn more about keeping your health and wellbeing at it’s peak. Call: 828-298-0011 today.



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