the dangers of sitting

Is this the new smoking?

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We interrupt our usual gut chat to for some breaking news.

Please be up standing for the latest research into what’s going to ‘get us’. It’s your chair. Yes, that’s right, your chair is out to get you!

Researchers have found that sitting, something we tend to do quite a lot of, could kill us faster than smoking.

Statistics from an Australian study released in the LA Times Feature indicate that an hour of sitting in front of the TV cuts around 22 minutes from your life.

These results have been contrasted with smoking which is estimated to shorten lifespan by approximately 11 minutes per cigarette smoked. How do they measure this stuff?

If you sit AND smoke, well…..

But why?

There are many health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

Results published in the journal Diabetologia (big word) showed that people who spend the most time sitting, compared to people who spent the least time sitting, had increased risk of:

  • Diabetes by 112%
  • Cardiovascular events by 147%
  • Death from cardiovascular causes by 90%
  • Death from all causes by 49%

Sitting is linked with a higher body weight and obesity. Some research suggests that mechanically, sitting puts more pressure on our fat cells causing the common ‘middle-age’ spread in weight deposition.

Cheery stuff indeed.

Seems we are designed to be physically active – out there on the plain, hunting and gathering (as opposed to e-bay hunting and gathering!).

Are we really doomed?

I don’t know if you are like me, but when I hear this new research, I often think “Poops, it doesn’t seem to matter what I do, it’s wrong. Don’t eat bbq meat Marnie, don’t eat meat Marnie, eat meat Marnie. How do you make sense of it all and still keep yourself tidy.

Useful tips:

Apparently, we shouldn’t just go and hammer it out at the gym before and after work, or walk the dog. I mean, still do that, but try to expend energy across the entire day.

Well, what does that look like then? I can’t very well install a treadmill at my desk. Or could I…..

  • Exercise – keep doing your stuff before and after work and  break up sitting time during the day with short walks. One study showed that 2 minutes of walking every 20 minutes improves glucose metabolism – back in a minute (or two)
  • Maintain good posture and stretch daily. Look to change your workspace so you are able to stand for most or part of your day
  • Drink water – it keeps your circulation and filtering system working.
  • Manage your inflammation – sitting is pro-inflammatory. MetaPure EPA/DHA can help keep down inflammation as well as Kaprex – both available at the clinic.

Next month we return to regularly scheduled program (if only I knew what that was). Until then…keep on moving!