Is Sitting the New Smoking?
Written by Wendy Corr on January 18, 2019
Although science has proven that you don’t need a full-blown hour-long strenuous workout every day, movement is necessary for our health. And because so many of us spend our workdays sitting in front of a desk, and our evenings in front of a television, we are actually harming our health! I’m Wendy Corr, and in today’s wellness tip, I’ll give you some ways to get off of that chair and into a healthier body!
Our society has become so focused on convenience that we’re starting to feel the effects on our health. Remote controls, email and instant messaging, and drive through restaurants are just a few ways that we’ve come up with to walk less, while still being able to do daily tasks. But Americans are spending so much time sitting, that our bodies are suffering!
Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative, has made some alarming findings. He says that sitting is more harmful than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more dangerous than parachuting. Researchers continue to find evidence that prolonged sitting increases the risk of developing several serious illnesses like various types of cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, people who sit for long periods of time are more susceptible to muscular issues, and sedentary habits are associated with a higher risk of developing depression
So what can we do to move more in a workplace or home environment in which sitting still is so much easier?
You can start by simply standing rather than sitting whenever you have the chance or think about ways to walk while you work. For example, you can stand while talking on the phone or eating lunch; request a standing desk at your workplace, or improvise with a high table or counter. Rather than sitting in a conference room for meetings, walk with your co-workers while you discuss work issues. If you can, try to position your work surface above a treadmill — with a computer screen and keyboard on a stand— so that you can be in motion throughout the day.
The benefits can be profound. You’ll burn more calories, which could lead to weight loss; you’ll have more energy; your digestive system will function better; and you’ll build stronger muscles!
Thanks for tuning in to Wellness with Wendy! I love sharing tips and tricks to help you live your best life – so for more health and wellness news and advice, follow my blog on mybighornbasin.com.