To Your Health
October, 2010 (Vol. 04, Issue 10)
Sit Less, Live Longer
By Editorial Staff
You may find the following information so profound that you feel inclined to sit down for a minute, but that's actually the opposite of what you should do. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests people who spend more time sitting (specifically, more than six hours a day) during leisure time have an increased risk of premature death compared to those who sit for three hours or less, and the results are independent of exercise. In other words, if you exercise for three hours a day and sit for nine hours a day, you're more likely to die than someone who doesn't exercise at all but spends only a few hours a day sitting.
This isn't to discount the benefits of exercise, of course, which is associated with reduced risk of heart disease, cancer and just about everything else, but to emphasize that a sedentary lifestyle has major health consequences.
When you sit for prolonged periods of time, usually with little or no movement, it negatively affects circulation, metabolism, resting blood pressure and cholesterol, among other things. And more time sitting, especially in front of the TV, computer, etc., often contributes to excessive snacking -all too often the unhealthy variety - which can lead to obesity and weight-related disorders such as diabetes.
"Sit less, move more" is a great message to store in your memory bank and recall on a daily basis. Anytime you start to feel stuck to your chair, peel yourself away and add a little motion (and a few years) to your life.