Health Risk of Sitting Too Long
In the world, we were taught that doing almost anything will kill you or increase your chances of dying. There seems to be a new study released every week proving the ever-increasing likelihood of death. With all this thrown at us, we tend to neglect much of what we hear because it is just too overwhelming. This new study about the risk of sitting, should not be neglected, because its results show that sitting down is killing us. You might want to stand for this.
The Study That Claims the Risk of Sitting for Long Periods
To claim that sitting down for long periods, i.e. a normal shift at work is killing us can’t be done without proof. Kelly Golob DC, along with many other reputable researchers have published their studies with hard-hitting statistics. Many of us spend about 8.3 hours sitting which is more than we sleep (7.7) daily. Our bodies are not designed for this type of lifestyle. The consequences include increased health risks and a general loss of years in our lives.
The stats reveal that the risk of sitting for more than 6 hours a day would make you 40% more likely to die 15 years premature compared to a person who sits for less than three hours a day. If that risk of sitting blew your mind, hold on to something because this implies even with exercise. On average we spend 9.3 hours a day sedentary, 6.5 hours a day doing a low-intensity physical activity (walking and standing), and 0.7 hours a day doing a medium to vigorous activity (running and sports).
Risk of Sitting: Increases Obese Rate
As you know sitting makes us fat. Obese people only sit 2.5 hours a day more than thin people. Looking between 1980 and 2000, exercise rates stayed the same, sitting time increased by 8%, and obesity doubled. Now 1 in 3 Americans is obese. Did you know that just chewing gum burns more calories than sitting or even standing?
When you sit your body goes into a meltdown. While sitting the activity in your legs shut down, the number of calories burned drops down to 1 calorie a minute, and the enzymes that burn fat drop 90%. If you have been sitting for 2 hours, your good cholesterol drops 20%. People with sitting jobs are 2 times more likely to get cardiovascular disease than people with standing jobs.
Time spent sitting in the office is inevitable for some but going home and sitting on that couch as you watch TV for 3 hours or more makes you 64% more likely to die from heart disease. If those stats have not increased your heart rate then this stat might. Each extra hour you watch TV means an 11% increase in death risk.
After hearing all this, you might become depressed or hopeless, especially if you are a frequent sitter. Many times articles similar to this one are followed by “but it is ok if you…” or a remedy, but this one is not, because sitting down for long periods is seriously killing us. You can’t just quit your job because that is what pays the bills. This leaves only one realistic way to fight for your life.
The obvious thing is exercising and eating better but you should be doing this already. Little things that will help save you a few more years are stretching, walking, and doing jumping jacks during your breaks after long periods of sitting. Sitting on a 135-degree angle on your chair burns more calories as well. So honestly if you’re stuck with that 8-hour sitting work day, all you can do is sit less out of the office, take exercise breaks, and of course, eat healthy food and put effort and time into regular exercise.