More research emerged about the dangers of sitting for the majority of the day. For a long time, it was the general consensus that if people were physically active at some point in the day, then sitting for the workday wasn’t such a big deal. However, in the last six months research has suggested this is not the case.
In the American Journal of Epidemiology, a study found higher rates of sitting meant shorter average life spans. Researchers analyzed responses from over 120,000 adults who were followed for nearly fifteen years as part of the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention II study. They found:
“After adjusting for a number of risk factors, including body mass index (BMI) and smoking, women who spent six hours a day sitting had a 37 percent increased risk of dying versus those who spent less than three hours a day on their bottoms. For men the increased risk was 17 percent.”
Furthermore, people who sat for long periods and didn’t exercise had even higher mortality risks with 94 percent for women and 48 percent for men.
We’ve known for a long time the many benefits of exercise, from heart health to mental health, to prevention of diabetes and weight maintenance, and the list goes on. On the flip side, there are several factors that lead sitting to being so, dare I say deadly in the long run. Less activity means fewer calories burned, which can in turn mean weight gain and all that risks that come with that. Beyond that, newer research is also evaluating what happens to muscles in the sitting state. There appears to be hormone reactions in the “lazy muscle” that lead to worsening in cholesterol and other heart-related parameters.
Serious motivation to get moving, right?
• Use a smaller cup for water to encourage you to get up and fill up more often!
• Once every hour, get up and move around- talk a walk around the office, visit the restroom on the opposite side of the building, climb a flight or two of stairs, or even do some light stretching before plopping back in the chair.
• Incorporate a walk at lunch- maybe to and from the restaurant, or after you’ve munched on brown bag contents
• Be creative with time and space. Squeeze in some cardio or strength moves—jumping jacks, squats, lunges, push ups, arm circles, etc.
Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD is a best selling author and the creator of "The F-Factor Diet", an innovative nutritional program she has used for over a decade to provide thousands with the tools they need to achieve easy weight loss and maintenance, and improved health and well-being. In January 2011 Tanya launched the F-Factor food line with the largest natural foods company in the US, the Hain Celestial group. She is thrilled to be able to offer the highest fiber products on the market to date. Become a fan of Tanya on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.
Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books: The F-Factor Diet and The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber.