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Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Is Sitting Too Much Bad for Your Health?

Joe Leech MS writes:
"Modern society is designed for sitting, as a result, people spend more time in a seated position than ever before. However, you may wonder whether excessive sitting could have negative health effects.

This article tells you whether sitting is bad for your health.

People sit more than ever before. 
Sitting is a common body posture. When people work, socialize, study, or travel, they often do so in a seated position. However, that doesn’t mean that sitting and other sedentary behaviours are harmless. Over half of the average person’s day is spent sitting, doing activities such as driving, working at a desk, or watching television. In fact, the typical office worker may spend up to a whopping 15 hours per day sitting. On the other hand, agricultural workers only sit for about 3 hours a day. 
Summary While sitting is a common posture, modern society overemphasizes this position. The average office worker spends up to 15 hours a day seated.

Sitting limits the number of calories you burn. 
Your everyday non-exercise activities, such as standing, walking, and even fidgeting, still burn calories. This energy expenditure is known as non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), the lack of which is an important risk factor for weight gain. Sedentary behaviour, including sitting and lying down, involves very little energy expenditure. It severely limits the calories you burn through NEAT. To put this into perspective, studies report that agricultural workers can burn up to 1,000 more calories per day than people working desk jobs. This is because farmworkers spend most of their time walking and standing.
Summary Sitting or lying down uses far less energy than standing or moving. This is why office workers may burn up to 1,000 fewer calories per day than agricultural workers.

Sitting increases your risk of weight gain. 
The fewer calories you burn, the more likely you are to gain weight. This is why sedentary behaviour is so closely linked to obesity. In fact, research shows that people with obesity sit for an average of two hours longer each day than do people with a normal weight.
Summary People who sit for long periods of time are more likely to be overweight or obese.

Sitting is linked to early death. 
Observational data from over 1 million people shows that the more sedentary you are, the more likely you are to die early. In fact, the most sedentary people had a 22–49% greater risk of early death. However, even though the majority of evidence supports this finding, one study found no link between sitting time and overall mortality. This study had some flaws, which likely explains why it contradicts all other research in the area.
Summary Evidence suggests that sedentary behaviour is correlated to a much greater risk of premature death.

Sedentary behaviour is linked to disease. 
Sedentary behaviour is consistently linked to more than 30 chronic diseases and conditions, including a 112% increase in your risk of type 2 diabetes and a 147% increase in heart disease risk. Studies have shown that walking fewer than 1,500 steps per day, or sitting for long periods without reducing calorie intake, can cause a major increase in insulin resistance, which is a key driver of type 2 diabetes. Researchers believe that being sedentary may have a direct effect on insulin resistance. This effect can happen in as little as one day.
Summary Long-term sedentary behaviour increases your risk of health conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Inactivity is believed to play a direct role in the development of insulin resistance.

Exercise doesn’t completely eliminate your risk. 
While regular exercise is always recommended, it doesn’t completely offset all the health risks of sitting too much. One study measured metabolic markers in 18 people following different exercise protocols. One hour of intense exercise did not make up for the negative effects of inactivity when other hours were spent sitting. Additionally, a review of 47 studies found that prolonged sitting was strongly linked to negative health outcomes, regardless of exercise levels. As expected, the negative effects were even greater for people who rarely exercised. 
Summary Being physically active is incredibly beneficial, but exercise alone does not completely offset the negative effects of sitting. 

The bottom line. 
People in Western societies spend too much time sitting. While relaxing can be beneficial, you should try to minimize the time you spend sitting during the workday. If you have a desk job, one solution is to get a standing desk or go for a few short walks during your workday. Minimizing sedentary time is just as important for health as a nutritious diet and regular exercise." 

The above words and picture taken from Joe's article, which has all the relevant research links here

Anyone for a walk?

A variety of articles and recipe ideas within this blog. Please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan


Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

I recognized this many years ago ... as an IT professional...sitting, staring at a monitor all day lone ... versus visiting my brother in construction ... the difference in our health wasn't trivial.

So now, I am eager to take my daily hour-long walk with my pups (except during the Florida summer...oh no...I wish to live)

Sally said...

As your friend Author said, I wish to live also here in Florida. Hot doesn't even describe the weather lately.

However, I've become more of a sitting than a walking person and have missed it. I do enjoy the yard work though, weather dependent. :)


Miss Val's Creations said...

Great information. My body feels stiff if I sit down too long so I have always been in the habit of standing up regularly. Luckily my work now requires going from task to task throughout the day so I am constantly getting up, moving around. It is great that there are now more options with standing desks today. So important!

Rain said...

I hate to admit that I've become a "sitter"...I try very hard to walk for at least an hour a day with the dogs, and keep busy in the garden, kitchen and yard. But some days I sit way too long and the inevitable groan happens when I get up. I've noticed that when I sit too long, my digestion suffers too. Alex and I have taken to eating standing up and it's much better.

Anonymous said...

Yes, let’s go for a walk right now lol,,,

mamasmercantile said...

Without the dog I think I would be a sitter...

Lady Fi said...

Sitting is the new smoking - as they say! I only stand now when I work. Sitting for too long gives me a backache.

Elephant's Child said...

Too much anything is bad for us.

Lisabella Russo said...

I definitely sit too much, thanks for the reminder to get up and walk around a bit more on occasion...

carol l mckenna said...

I try walk everyday with my doggie ~ Still know that I probably sit too much.

Happy Day to you,
A ShutterBug Explores
aka (A Creative Harbor)

William Kendall said...

Quite timely!

Jeff (Sage) said...

I sit but I like to get up every hour and will often walk around every hour or so.

betty-NZ said...

Great post to help get a little healthier! I'm not able to walk a lot, but I do whenever I can.

My Corner of the World

CJ Kennedy said...

I try to remember to get up and move.

NanaDiana said...

I sit almost all day long with my job-but get up as often as I can. Counting down the days until I am done.

Sue (this n that) said...

As Miss Val said above, my body tells me when I've sat too much so in a way that's good lol.
Thanks for the post, it's always good to read the articles you provide. Cheers!

DeniseinVA said...

I read somewhere that if you have a job that ties you to a desk, you should get up every hour to get your circulation moving. Even doing this at home now I no longer work out of the home. The best thing for myself is that I love to go on walks. A very good article a Jan, makes you think. Thank you and all the best :)

Iris Flavia said...

Yes. Sitiing in the car for way over an hour plus sitting at the desk was my routine for 16 years, horrible. But yes, I do excercise, too.

Margaret D said...

Good read about sitting.

Sami said...

I'm definitely guilty of sitting for too long, both at work and at home in front of the computer.

Snowbird said...

After reading that I'm going to take the dogs out!xxx

Carla from The River said...

I dislike to sit, I have to be up and moving. When I have to sit, I try to get around and move every hour or so. Thank you for the post!

Conniecrafter said...

I think I do well during the day but when evening falls after the evening meal I am bad about moving, I really need to change that

Phil Slade said...

Good advice as ever. I spend too much time at the PC I know. But I often just take an exercise break in the garden then come back to the computer.

baili said...

GREAT POST dear Jan!!!

thank you so much for sharing this topic

i sit after evening walk and then t.v watching till 10 :30 with hubby

summers make us sit alot though winters charge our batteries

carol l mckenna said...

Great article post about too much sitting ^_^

Happy Day to you,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Magic Love Crow said...

Great post Jan! Thank you!