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In recent years, researchers have formed a strong consensus with regards to the health effects of sitting. In short, the more time you spend sitting, the shorter and less healthy your life will tend to be.
In fact, there are now over 10,000 studies showing that chronic sitting-at work, commuting, and watching TV at night-significantly impacts your cardiovascular and metabolic function.
For example, one 2012 meta-analysis1 found that those who sat for the longest periods of time on a daily basis were twice as likely to have diabetes or heart disease, compared to those who sat the least.
Moreover, those who didn’t engage in ANY physical activity at all had a
99 percent higher risk of developing depression than women who exercised…
Tragically, more than half of American men, and 60 percent of American women, never engage in any vigorous physical activity lasting more than 10 minutes per week.5
This combination of excessive sitting and inadequate exercise has been shown to double the risk of heart failure in men.6, 7 It also raises your risk for insomnia, arthritis, and premature death from any cause.
Walk Off the Damage from Sitting…
What’s even more concerning is that studies8 also clearly show that these risk correlations hold true
no matter how much you exercise. This was again demonstrated in a study9 published in August, in which six hours of uninterrupted sitting was found to counteract the positive health benefits of a whole hour of exercise!
Chronic sitting is actually an
independent risk factor for poor health and early death, so the answer is to simply
limit sitting as much as possible. Indeed, it’s becoming quite clear that intermittent movement is critical for health and longevity-perhaps even more so than a regular workout routine.
The good news is that you have virtually unlimited options when it comes to breaking up your sitting. From standing desks and office-friendly intermittent exercise to short walks; all of it counts.