Throughout much of human history we lived on our feet: hunting, tending crops, walking to school, building structures and so on. Today, due to TVs, computers and desk jobs, we’re sitting an average of 9.3 hours a day, which means sitting down is killing you! That’s longer than we sleep!
Why Sitting Down is Killing You
Many studies show that sitting is linked to many unhealthy behaviors such as: high blood sugar, increased blood pressure,excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels. Too much sitting also seems to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.
There was one recent study that compared adults who spent less than two hours a day in front of the TV or other screen-based entertainment like computers and nintendo systems and the other adults who sat there more than four hours a day of recreational screen time. Those with greater screen time showed that they nearly had a 50 percent increased risk of death from any cause as well as about a 125 percent increased risk of events associated with cardiovascular disease, such as chest pain (angina) or heart attack.
Sitting in front of the TV isn’t the only concern for many. Any extended sitting such as behind a desk at work or driving can be harmful. Spending a few hours a week at the gym or engaged in other moderate activities doesn’t seem to significantly offset the risk. The solution is to have less sitting and more moving overall. You might start by simply standing rather than sitting whenever you have the chance. For example at work, stand up while eating or on the phone, if you have a tall desk maybe stand for a while. It’s better to have your blood flowing for a while than to sit.
Our bodies were built to be active throughout the day, and this reversal is taking an alarming toll. The infographic below shares the details on how sitting down is killing you by Fit After Fifty.