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
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.