Sitting All Day Might Be Slowly Killing you

Did I get your attention?  I sure hope so!  Do you sit for prolonged periods of time?  It's a hot topic here at Pain Free Posture MN and something I recently discussed this in the post 14 Proven Side Effects of Sitting All Day.  


Consider this another yet another friendly public service announcement for our Achieving a Pain Free Life and Living readership!  Check out this awesome infographic called, Sitting is Killing You (source Medical Billing and Coding Certification).  Sadly, the info graphic no longer works, but it is still viewable on MindBodyGreen


Anyway, it's a compilation of facts and data that link prolonged sitting and a sedentary lifestyles to poor posture, musculoskeletal pain and ill health.


Is Sitting is Killing You?  The TRUTH About Sitting Down

  1. Sitting increases risk of death by up to 40% | Sitting 6+ hours per day makes you up to 40% likelier to die within 15 years than someone who sits less than 3.  Even if you exercise!  Studies show that only reducing sitting time helps.  It's clear that sitting is killing us.  But how?
  2. Sitting makes us fat | Obese people sit 2.5 more hours per day than thin people.  Between 1980 and 2000 exercise rates a) remained the same b)  sitting time increased 8% c)  obesity doubled.  Sitting expends almost no energy at all.  Effects of sitting aren't just long term though.  Your body goes into meltdown as soon as you sit down.
  3. How sitting wrecks your body | As soon as you sit the following occurs.  Electrical activity in the leg muscles shuts off, calorie burning drops to 1/minute, enzymes that help break down fat drop by 90%.  After 2 hours good cholesterol drops 20% and after 24 hours insulin effectiveness drops 24% and risk of diabetes rises.  People with sitting jobs have twice the rate of cardiovascular disease as people with standing jobs.
  4. How to get out of your chair alive | For many of us sitting 8 hours a day at our job is inevitable.  But it's the extra sitting outside of work that turns a serious problem deadly.  The recommended 30 minutes of activity per day is not enough.  Interrupt sitting whenever you can.  Walking alone burns 3-5x the calories that sitting does.  Take every opportunity to stretch, walk/march in place around the office or do jumping jacks!
  5. Get off the couch | Those who sit 3 hours or more per day watching TV are 64% more likely to die from heart disease.  Of those who sit in front of the TV 3 hours per day, those who exercise are just as fat as those who don't.  Each extra hour of watching TV = 11% higher death risk.
  6. Take the extra step | Sitting time adds up, whether it's at the desk or in the car.  Walk, ride your bike, and take the stairs instead of the elevator.  Also, interrupt sitting time whenever you can.   
  7. The human body simply isn't built to sit for long periods of time | A hundred years ago, when we were all toiling in the fields and factories, obesity was basically nonexistent.  But since we can't exactly run free in the fields til the end of our days, we have to help our bodies in other ways.  We have to stand up for our right to stand up!


Recently, the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise journal published a study on men who sat all day.  They found that:

"men who sat the most had the greatest risk of heart problems. Men who spent more than 23 hours a week watching TV and sitting in their cars (as passengers or as drivers) had a 64 percent greater chance of dying from heart disease than those who sat for 11 hours a week or less."

 

Interestingly, the researchers expected to confirm this result, but they didn't expect to find that:

"many of these same men who sat for very long hours and developed heart problems also exercised. A high number of the participants noted that they exercised regularly and led active lifestyles."

 

CRAZY!  Despite an active lifestyle, the risk of heart disease continued to rise, despite the exercise.  Why?  Prescribed exercise did not counteract the prolonged periods of time spent sitting. 

Exercise did not counteract the negative cumulative effects of prolonged hours of sitting.

 

Every day I see the repercussions of bodies that have been starved of motion and the correct stimulus to the major load joints. Sitting all day is like poison to the body!

 

At Pain free Posture MN we believe that in order for our bodies to function optimally, we must adhere to a "blue-print" design and laws.  As Pete Egoscue likes to say "The more laws we violate, the faster we age and die." To learn more please check out our FREE DOWNLOAD The 8 Laws of Physical Health

 

If you sit all day long, you're essentially deprive your body of the correct stimulus and demand.  The laws of physical health are interrupted, and we are prone to pain, disease and injury. 

 

The GOOD NEWS is, you can not only change the problem, but you can reverse them with a corrective exercise programs like posture alignment therapy, pilates and other mind/body programs designed by a Certified Posture Alignment Specialist!

 

The body was designed to move, and in today’s society, we have to purpose to not only move more, but to also be functional.  Posture related pain and health problems as outlined in the infographic and study can all clearly be linked to prolonged bouts of sitting.  

 

What are you waiting for?  Get out of that chair and do more than just exercise.  You’re body will thank you!

References:

  • http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/43/2/81.full
  • http://www.bls.gov/tus/charts/
  • http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/72/6/1451.full
  • http://www.families.com/blog/how-many-calories-do-you-burn-while-walking
  • http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_19/b4177071221162.htm
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17sitting-t.html?_r=0
  • http://atvb.ahajournals.org/content/26/4/729.full.pdf+html
  • http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/56/11/2655.long
  • http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/14/phys-ed-the-men-who-stare-at-screens/
  • http://www.cdc.gov/PDF/Facts_About_Obesity_in_the_United_States.pdf
  • http://www.nbcnews.com/id/39523298/ns/health-mens_health/t/why-your-desk-job-slowly-killing-you/
  • http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6187080.stm