“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.” This statement was given by Dr. James Levine, Director of Mayo Clinic – Arizona State University, in a recent interview covering his research on the adverse effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
Dr. Levine coined the phrase “sitting is the new smoking,” but he is not the first person to notice the negative and dangerous result of spending your day in a chair. Sitting for long periods of the day has been linked to just as many health dangers as smoking. This includes, but is not limited to, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, depression, muscular pain/ discomfort and cancer.
Even more alarming, exercise does not reverse the side effects of sitting. The only way to minimize the effects of sitting is to limit the amount of time you spend on your seat! However, the typical American lifestyle of screen time and long commutes continue to bring about the many dangers/ health risks that accompany too much sitting.
So, we suggest you stop stop reading this article and get up and moving!
Here are some ideas to help you get started:
- Stand while talking on the phone or eating lunch.
- If you work at a desk for long periods of time, try a standing desk — or improvise with a high table or counter.
- Walk laps with your colleagues rather than gathering in a conference room for meetings.
- Set an alarm on your phone to get up from your desk at least once an hour.
- Join a walking group in your community.
- Limit your TV time and couch time at home (clean your house, mow your lawn or play with your kids, instead).
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