The hours you spend sitting are not harmless; in fact, some experts say it’s a habit that’s almost as bad as smoking.
We sit everywhere – in our cars, at our desks, in the bank while we wait to be served, and, if our couches could talk, we’d be embarrassed by what they reveal on the number of hours we spend sitting. As humans, we are built to sit upright. Our entire body works best when we do so, including our heart and cardiovascular system, even our bowel movements benefit.
However, modern life has become increasingly physically inactive, and so we spend far too much time lying down and sitting. According to the Department of Health, State Government of Victoria, Australia, physical inactivity contributes to over three million preventable deaths worldwide each year. It’s also the fourth leading cause of death due to non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
Movement is the answer
According to mayoclinic.org, some of the conditions linked to sitting too much include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and unhealthy cholesterol levels. This cluster makes up the metabolic syndrome.
The site also states that various studies point to movement being the best antidote to sitting. They say: “Overall, research seems to point to the fact that less sitting and more moving contribute to better health. You might start by simply standing rather than sitting when you have the chance. Or find ways to walk while you work.