Are You Suffering From Sitting Disease?

Whether it’s driving, lengthy commutes, our office jobs, TV or movies, one of the biggest issues facing us as a modern society is that our lives revolve around sedentary activities.  According to the World Health Organization, physical inactivity is the 4th leading cause of death around the world.  This is no surprise as sitting for long periods of time can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes by 90%.  Even if we exercise, to combat all that sitting, the sitting that we do still increases our chances for disease.  The negative effects from the amount of sitting we do outweigh the benefit we might get from exercise, which is a scary thought for sure.

More exercise is clearly better, but trying not to sit for the long periods of time is necessary for bigger benefits.  So what happens when we sit and what can we do about it? As soon as you sit down, the electrical activity in leg muscles shuts off and normal calorie burning drops to 1 calorie per minute.  Additionally, the enzymes that help break down fat drop by 90%.  After 2 hours of sitting your good cholesterol drops 20%.  After 24 hours of sitting and inactivity the effectiveness of your insulin drops 24% and your risk of diabetes increases.  Studies have also said that sitting may be responsible for >170,000 cases of cancer each year.  Statistically, breast and colon cancers have been shown to be the most influenced by physical inactivity.  So the more time people spend sitting, the higher their risk of dying early.  

What are the top hazards to our health from sitting?

Organ Damage

·         Heart disease

·         Overprotective pancreas

·         Colon cancer

Muscle Degeneration

·         Mushy abs

·         Tight hips

·         Limp glutes

Leg Disorders

·         Poor circulation in legs

·         Soft bones

Head and Neck Issues

·         Foggy brain

·         Strained neck

·         Sore shoulders and back

Bad Back

·         Inflexible spine

·         Disk damage

Luckily, physical activity decreases the risk of chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease and diabetes.  So increasing physical activity throughout the day can actually help you combat “sitting disease”.  You can do this pretty easily by getting up from your desk at least once an hour.  Taking breaks are necessary for your optimal health.  Working out or walking briskly for at least 30 min a day, on most days is the ideal goal, but may not feel possible for many people who have busy schedules.  You can compromise by trying to make little changes to your daily schedule.  For example, try to get off the bus or train one stop early increasing your walking time to or from work.  Similarly, you can park your car further away from where you’re headed.