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  • Dr. Brandy Zachary, DC

Sitting is the New Smoking

On average, how many hours a day do you spend sitting, uninterrupted? One hour? Two

hours? Three…or more?


Our ancient ancestors spent much of their time on the move, hunting and gathering to

serve their basic needs. Obviously, the balance between movement and fuel has shifted

dramatically over time, most notably since the technological revolution.

Unlike our ancestors, we no longer search for food. Instead, we are now on a quest for

time, as hours fly by while we’re hunched over a keyboard. On an average day, many of

us are likely sitting more than we are moving and consuming more calories than we are

burning. Many of us regularly put in eight-hour workdays seated at a desk – sometimes

even more. We then go home and unwind on the couch, binge-watching our favorite

shows. The hours begin to add up.


Maybe we make a little time to fit in some exercise each day; however, with more

conveniences at our fingertips, we can do a lot more while moving a lot less. The longer

we sit, the more our bodies begin to feel tight, tired and sore. It’s clear that too much

sitting isn’t good for us. But did you know that it can even lead to earlier mortality?




Sitting and Premature Death


That’s right…too much sitting can kill you! In fact, some are saying that “sitting is the

new smoking” because its impact is so significant. According to recent research from the

Journal of the American Heart Association, prolonged sitting presents similar health risks as smoking, such as heart disease, lung cancer, and diabetes. It also increases premature death by about 50 percent! Even more surprising, too much sitting increases your risk for an early death regardless of your fitness level or other lifestyle habits.

But sitting isn’t just bad for your heart or metabolism; it is also bad for your brain!

Researchers at the University of California have discovered a connection between

sedentary behavior and thinning regions in the brain that is critical to new memory

formation.


So, what if your job requires you to be at a desk, all day, every day? Are you supposed to

quit? Well, of course, that’s not practical. However, there are a few simple things you can

do to ensure that you keep your body regularly moving for a longer, healthier life.


Tips to Sit Less; Live Longer


1. Fit in Exercise Whenever Possible

Bottom line, the more frequently you work out, the more you reduce your risk of

premature death. Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical

activity per week. While exercising 10 minutes or more at a time is ideal, shorter

but frequent bursts of exercise, like taking the stairs, can also be an excellent way

to keep active.

2. Move Every 30 Minutes

Research shows that people who sit for less than 30 minutes at a time have the

lowest risk of early death. Meetings and deadlines don’t always offer the freedom

to move, but ideally, you don’t want to be sitting for any longer than three hours

at a time. Setting a timer on your phone can be a helpful reminder to take regular

moments for movement.

3. Use a Fitness Tracker

Fitness trackers are an effective way to ensure you’re getting enough activity in

your day. As health and fitness wearables grow in popularity, there is an

increasing number of options available for every budget and lifestyle. There are

also a wide variety of exercise apps out there to track your progress and monitor

your success with motivational milestones to keep you moving.

4. Try a Standing Desk

As awareness grows about the health concerns associated with chronic and

prolonged sitting, more companies have already begun re-examining ways they

can improve employee wellness. In some environments, adjustable desks are

offered to provide workers with opportunities to stand instead of sitting if they so

choose. If a standing desk is not an option for you, try moving your laptop to a tall

counter or table as a means to squeeze in more standing.

5. Opt for Less Convenience

We live in a world of many technological conveniences, and yet, we take so many

of them for granted -- and in some cases to our detriment. Turn back time and

reverse the mortal clock by opting for “less convenient” choices in your day.

Walk over and have a conversation with your colleague instead of sending an

email. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Bike to work instead of drive. Small

activities can make a significant impact!


Do you spend excessive amounts of time sitting? Do you experience any health problems that you think could be related to a sedentary lifestyle? Let’s chat and get to the root of your health issues. Book an appointment with us/me/our clinic, and together we will find ways to improve your overall health and well-being so that you can live your life to its fullest.


Call or email us at 925.788.6300 Team@BodyLoveCafe.com.

Natural medicine meets cutting-edge science to dig deeper and provide answers as to why you don’t feel well. We hear you. We see you. We believe you – it isn’t all in your head and we’ve got the technique and labs to show why.


Body Love Cafe is a safe place to share your struggles, ask questions and look deeper for answers typically overlooked by conventional medicine. With a focus on “why” is this happening and “what” can be done to get to the root cause, the Body Love Cafe practitioners are trained to think differently.


This type of care creates a partnership between the patient/client and practitioner to best facilitate results and overall wellness. This means we actually listen and customize our protocols. Our team includes Functional Medicine, Nutrition, Bodywork/Massage, Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Health Coaching & Energy Medicine.


It all started after our founder after she suffered a “mystery illness” that left her declared permanently disabled. Unwilling to accept that diagnosis, she fought back to regain her health and then launched Body Love Cafe, our holistic health clinic in Walnut Creek, CA which recently won “Best of the Bay” by Diablo magazine for 2020.


In short, “we figure out why you feel like crap but your MD says you’re fine.”

Visit our website to learn more: www.BodyLoveCafe.com or contact us at Team@BodyLoveCafe.com.


References

http://jaha.ahajournals.org/content/7/6/e007678

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180412141014.htm

http://annals.org/aim/article-abstract/2653704/patterns-sedentary-behavior-mortality-u-s-middle-aged-older-adults

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Statements not evaluated by FDA, not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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©2019 by Brandy Zachary, DC, AFMCP