Recent research evaluated 47 studies of sedentary behavior, and discovered that the time you spend sitting each day has significant detrimental effects to your health that even outweigh the benefits of adopting a healthier lifestyle.
Too much sitting can increase a person’s risk of death from virtually all modern health problems, from type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease to cancer and all-cause mortality. For example, sitting for more than eight hours a day is associated with a 90 percent increased risk of type-2 diabetes!
Other research found that those who sit the most have a 112% increased relative risk of diabetes, and a 147% increased relative risk of cardiovascular events when compared to those who sit the least.
Not surprisingly, all-cause mortality also increased by 50% with too much sitting. In fact, chronic sitting has a mortality rate similar to smoking! The less you exercise, the more pronounced the detrimental effects of chronic sitting.
To counteract the ill effects of prolonged sitting, health experts suggest:
- Keep track of how much you’re sitting each day, and make an effort to reduce it, little by little, each week.
- Use a standing desk at work, because standing up frequently is still better than constant sitting. Get up out of your chair every 30 minutes and walk, stretch or jog in place.
- When watching TV at home, stand up or walk around during commercial breaks.
- Look for chances to walk farther each day, like parking far away from the grocery store entrance or taking the stairs up one or two floors instead of the elevator.
Even if you are a really busy person who works at a desk all day, it’s important that you find ways to increase your daily activity. Not only will you feel more alert and refreshed throughout the day, your long-term health depends on it. Now get moving!