SITTING DISEASE…. WHAT IS THAT?!
I saw this on TV a couple years ago so I had to do my research.
The term “Sitting Disease” has been coined by the scientific community and is commonly used when referring to metabolic syndrome and the ill-effects of an overly sedentary lifestyle.
Sounds scary so you know I like it! It’s basically a scary word for sedentary.
First, let’s clarify what sedentary is. Sedentary is a seated or laying position. So, it doesn’t mean you have to go for walks all the time to be considered less sedentary. Reaching a 10K step goal does not constitute less sedentary. You can easily get 10K in steps if you go for a walk for 45-60 minutes. That still leaves you sedentary for 9 to 16 hours in a day.
Check out the statistics from the analysis done in 2010 by the American Cancer Society:
- Women who are inactive and sat over 6 hours a day were 94% more likely to die during the time period studied than those who were physically active and sat less than 3 hours a day.
- Men who have inactive and sat over 6 hours daily were 48% more likely to die than their standing counterparts
Findings were independent of physical activity levels (the negative effects of sitting were just as strong in people who exercised regularly).
Experts are beginning to agree that being more active simply means moving more during the day. So how can we fight “sitting disease”? Here are some thoughts:
- Stand more (set a timer and stand/walk hourly for about 5-10 minutes)
- Change traditional video games into activity promoting ones — or buy an exercise video
- Stand up or walk while on a call
- Take the stairs
The solutions seem simple, but the effects may be profound. In addition to increasing your life expectancy, you may lose a few pounds and stress less.
If Americans would cut their sitting time in half, their life expectancy would increase by roughly:
- 2 years (by reducing sitting to less than 3 hours a day)
- 1.4 years (by reducing TV time to less than 2 hours a day)
Now you see why I stress your activity throughout the day, not some step goal. Stop shooting for steps and just try to be less sedentary, stand up more often than less.
I hope you’re standing up right now!