Sitting Kills, My Story
I can attest that sitting kills firsthand. About five years ago, I was working on a writing project and other computer related activities. Being a dedicated and ambitious person, I tend to push myself more than normal. So, intently sitting on the front edge my chair for and probably not in a very proper back alignment, I developed severe back pain.
The pain was so intense that I could not even walk. I had to use an old broom handle to get around as well as resorting to crawling up the stairs. Reaching out to my chiropractor for help it still took months to get back into shape. There were many times I began to seriously think I may NEVER be the same.
To make matters worse, I had scheduled a trip to a business convention that was two weeks after this happened. I did everything I could think of to get “into shape” so I could keep my commitment. I was able to make it to the event and somewhat enjoy the activities, but it made such a huge lasting impression on me that I will never forget it.
The story has a happy ending, and I have totally recovered from my bad back. I can actively participate in any activities that I wish, and I am as good as new. Plus, I am now able to help YOU avoid any stress and anxiety from my experience by telling my story so you might not subject yourself this problem. So please listen up!
How Bad is Too Much Sitting?
The average adult spends 50 to 70 percent of their day sitting in an office environment. Sitting has been described as the “new smoking”. According to the Physical Activity Council 2014, 28% of Americans or 80.2 million people, aged six and older are physically inactive. And just 30 minutes of some physical activity every day can halve the rate of premature deaths from heart disease and cancer.
About 30 percent of adults spend at least six hours a day during the week sitting around – and this rises to 37 percent on weekends. Roughly one-third of people who are sedentary will have at least two major health conditions, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Katy Bowman, a scientist Organ Damage and author of the book: Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement.
“Actively sedentary is a new category of people who are fit for one hour but sitting around the rest of the day… You can’t offset 10 hours of stillness with one hour of exercise.”
While a brief period of sitting here and there is natural, long periods of sitting day-in and day-out can seriously impact your health and shorten your life.
Sitting Too Much is Linked to Health Problems!
But few realize the health consequences of the result of this sedentary lifestyle, or the effects is having on our society at large. Sitting at a desk, behind a wheel or in front of a screen, can be harmful. Your body was designed to be active and on the move all day long. When you stop moving for extended periods of time, it’s like telling your body to shut down and prepare for death.
“True enjoyment comes from activity of the mind and exercise of the body; the two are ever united.” ~ Wilhelm von Humboldt
Dr. James Levine, co-director of the Mayo Clinic and the Arizona State University Obesity Initiative, and author of the book Get UP! Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It. Levine’s scientific research shows that we no longer use our bodies as they evolved to be used, and is a leading cause of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
His investigations show that when you are sitting for a long period of time and then get up, the muscular and cellular systems that process blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol (which are mediated by insulin) are activated. He explains that these molecular effects are activated simply by carrying your own bodyweight. These cellular mechanisms are also responsible for pushing fuel into your cells and, if done regularly, with radically decrease your risk of diabetes and obesity.
“The first wealth is health.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Joan Vernikos PhD. and former Director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division and uses research from NASA to substantiates groundbreaking new medical work that demonstrates how modern sedentary lifestyles contribute to poor health, obesity, and diabetes, and how health can be dramatically improved by continuous, low-intensity, movement that challenges the force of gravity. In her book Sitting Kills, Moving Heals: How Everyday Movement Will Prevent Pain, Illness, and Early Death — and Exercise Alone Won’t citing her original NASA research on how weightlessness weakens astronauts’ muscles, bones and overall health. The author presents a simple and effective plan for maintaining good health for everyone who spends most of their lives sitting in chairs, at desks, and in cars. This practical, easy-to-follow action plan outlines simple gravity-challenging activities such as standing up frequently, stretching, walking, and dancing that are more healthful and effective than conventional diet and exercise regimens.
8 Reason Sitting Kills
- It Hurts Your Heart
Scientists first noticed that transit drivers, who sit most of the day, are about twice as likely to get heart disease as those that stand.
- It Can Shorten Your Life
You’re more likely to die earlier from any cause if you sit for long stretches at a time. It doesn’t help even if you exercise every day.
- Dementia Is More Likely
If you sit too much, your brain can look just like that of someone with dementia. Moving throughout the day can help even more than exercise to lower your risk for health problems.
- Raise Your Odds for Diabetes
Yup, you’re more likely to have diabetes, if you sit all day. And it isn’t only because you burn fewer calories. It’s the actual sitting that seems to do it. It is the way your body reacts to insulin, the hormone that helps it burn sugar and carbs for energy.
- You’ll Gain Weight
Watch a lot of TV? Surf the web for hours on end? You’re more likely to be overweight. If you exercise that is good, but it won’t make a huge dent in extra weight you gain as a result of too much screen time.
- Your Anxiety Might Spike
Too much time alone may cause you to withdraw from your friends and family.
- It Affects Your Back
The seated position puts a huge stress on your back muscles, neck and spine. You may change chairs to a more ergonomic chair but, your back still will not like it. Get up and move around for a minute or two every thirty minutes.
- Your Cancer Risk Goes Up
You may be more likely to get colon, endometrial, or lung cancer. The more you sit, the higher the odds. Older women have a higher risk of breast cancer. That doesn’t change if you are super active. What does matter is how much you sit.
Movement Can Slow Brain Aging
To add to the impact of sitting too much scenario, a March 2016 study in the online issue of Neurology found that regular exercise can slow brain aging by as much as 10 years. Loads of other research has found that people who regularly exercise are more productive at work. Your brain is, after all, part of your body. If your body is healthier, it makes sense that your brain would operate better.
If you want to operate at your highest level, you need to take a holistic approach to life. You are a system. When you change a part of any system, you simultaneously change the whole. Improve one area of your life, all other areas improve in a virtuous cycle.
“To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” ~ The Buddha
What Is the Takeaway from This Information?
Andrea LaCroix, PhD, director of the Women’s Health Center of Excellence at the University of California, San Diego. ”Don’t demonize sitting,” LaCroix says. The message, she says, is to reduce sitting time by breaking it up. Although experts aren’t sure how often you need to get up, they suggest getting up about every 30 minutes if possible.
To Avoid Sitting Kills – You may want to start by simply standing rather than sitting when you have the chance or finding ways to walk while you work. For example:
- Take a break from sitting every 30 minutes
- Stand while you are on the phone or watching television.
- If you work at a desk, try a standing desk- or improvise with a high counter or table.
- Walk with colleagues for meetings rather than sitting in a conference room.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Park your car further away from the entrance
- Take the long way around to get to your desk
- Organize your office to increase physical movement, such as needing to stand to reach files, the telephone, or your printer, rather than having everything in easy reach
- Use an exercise ball for a chair. Sitting on an exercise ball engages your core muscles and helps to improve balance
- Set a timer to remind you to stand and move around
Use movement or even leisurely movement as much as possible. Also, physical activity helps maintain muscle tone, your ability to move and your mental well-being.
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