Is Sitting the New Smoking?

Are We Sitting too Much?

Sitting, chances are good you are doing it right now. Chances are also good that you spend much of the day sitting as well, whether it’s at work, driving, or just relaxing at home. Unfortunately,but not surprisingly, new information is coming out that prolonged sitting is not good for our health.

Too much sitting sets you up for a host of physical problems including poor circulation, chronic back and nerve pain, depression, osteoporosis, spinal disc degeneration, fatigue and many other health problems. Even scarier is that according to Canadian researchers prolonged daily sitting could cause these problems even if you exercise regularly.
“More than one half of an average person’s day is spent being sedentary — sitting, watching television or working at a computer,” said Dr. David Alter, a senior scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute

Sitting is the New Smoking.

The paper, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that prolonged sedentary behaviour was associated with a 15 to 20 per cent higher risk of death from any cause; a 15 to 20 per cent higher risk of heart disease, death from heart disease, cancer, death from cancer; and as much as a 90 per cent increased risk of developing diabetes, said Alter.

And that was after adjusting for the effects of regular exercise.

“Avoiding sedentary time and getting regular exercise are both important for improving your health and survival,” said Alter. But engaging in 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous daily exercise does not mean it’s OK to then “sit on your rear” for the rest of the day.

What Can You Do?
– Follow the 50/10 RULE: Don’t sit for more than 50 minutes. Set a timer and take 10 when it rings.
– DON’T BE A CROOKED SITTER OR SLOUCHER: Sit up straight. Your spine may have a misalignment with nerve pressure, which needs correcting.
– TAKE YOUR LUNCH BREAK: Get up and go somewhere even if you bring something in.
– TRACK YOUR STEPS. Current recommendation is to get 10,000 steps in a day. There are many devices out there today that can track your activity for you. I like the fitbit. You may be surprised how few steps you get in a typical day.
– ENJOY THE WEATHER: Winter is finally coming to an end in Ottawa so take advantage of the beautiful weather we have been having and get outside!

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