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Sitting Down is Killing Us

Polly Pitchford - Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The human body simply isn't built to sit for long periods of time.  A hundred years ago, when we were all out toiling in the fields and factories, obesity was basically nonexistent.  But since we can't exactly run free till the end of our days, we have to help our bodies in other ways.  We have to stand up for our right to stand up!

According to today's data, modern human beings sit down more during the day than they sleep.  I have just recently become one of these people.  I'm not happy about it.  It isn't healthy to sit around that long, but I do it everyday.  I just left a job where I was on my feet for 7 hours moving, walking, toting, bending and I couldn't wait to get home and put my feet up, before heading out the door and teaching an exercise class.  Very active day.  Now I sit in front of my computer screen for 7 hours working on my business of Motivational Speaker on Health and Wellness (which I LOVE) but I am now officially a "sedentary" person. YIKES!!  Time to remedy that!  As net-surfing would have it, I came across this AMAZING article that spelled it out clearly: Sitting Down is Killing You.  After reading it I set the timer on my phone to go off every hour on the hour with the subject heading of "move".  I couldn't believe how fast an hour would go by and was grateful (if not a little annoyed) for the reminder.  I am very motivated to schedule these reminders into my day because of the following statistics:

  • We sit 9.3 hours per day and sleep only 7.7 hours
  • Sitting 6+ hours per day increases risk of death up to 40% likelier to die with 15 years than someone who sits less than 3. EVEN IF YOU EXERCISE!
  • Sitting Makes us fat: Obese people sit for 2.5 more hours per day than thin people.  Sitting expends almost NO energy.
  • Your body goes into meltdown the moment you sit down: Electrical activity in the leg muscles shuts off, calorie burning drops to 1 per minute, enzymes that help break down fat drop 90%,
  • After 2 hours of sitting: Good cholesterol drops 20%
  • After 24 hours:   Insulin effectiveness drops 24% and risk of diabetes rises
  • People with sitting jobs have twice the rate of cardiovascular disease as people with standing jobs.

How Do We Combat This?

For many of us, sitting for 8 hours a day at our job is inevitable.  But it's the extra sitting outside of work that turns a serious problem deadly. Sooo,

Interrupt sitting whenever you can:  Stretch, walk or march in place (walking burns 3-5 more times the calories than sitting does.  

Still not moved to move?  Check out these Couch Potato statistics:

  • Those who sit 3 hours or more per day watching TV are 64% more likely to die from heart disease.
  • Of those who sit in front of the TV 3 hours per day, those who exercise are just as fat as those who don't 
  • Each evtra hour of watching TV = 11% higher death risk

So let's all take the extra step and reduce these alarming statistics as they relate to a sedentary lifestyle.  Remember, sitting time adds up, whether it's at the desk or in the car.  Walk, ride your bike, and take the stairs instead of the elevator.  Also, interrupt sitting time whenever you can.  Oops, gotta stop now, my alarm just went off!


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