Are You Sitting Your Way Into Poor Health?

By Judith Hayes ©2016

Much attention has been paid to the unhealthy results of long hours of sitting at work and at home, and people are beginning to realize they must change their level of activity or risk devastating results. Prolonged sitting has been shown to promote a number of chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, circulatory problems, and obesity. People who work in offices are often seated for seven or more hours per day and experience more related-health issues than construction workers who are engaged in physical activity on the job.


Physical Lifestyles Have Become Sedentary

Looking back at your ancestors, you might wonder how they could travel for miles on foot every day, hunt for their food, and build their shelters without any of the conveniences we enjoy today. The simple reason is, they were stronger. Their physical lifestyle activity built bone density, strengthened muscles, and exercised the heart and lungs; when they rested, it was for a short periods of time while eating and before going to sleep for the night. Today's generations have traded the physical for a comfort-driven sedentary lifestyle.

Stand Up For Health

If you have been sitting for an extended period of time. there are certain things that happen when you first stand up. According to Dr. James Levine, co-director of the Mayo Clinic, many studies have shown that prolonged sitting is harmful to your health even if you exercise and eat a healthy diet. Over 10,000 publications have addressed the dangers of sitting, including the risk of a shortened lifespan. James explains that within 90 seconds of standing up the body responds in profound ways. Your "muscular and cellular systems that process blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol--which are mediated by insulin--are activated." The simple act of standing and placing your bodyweight onto your legs activates these molecular actions, and you lower the risk of becoming obese or developing other diseases associated with the sedentary lifestyle.


How To Change

If you are stuck in an office job at a computer, start increasing your standing time by getting up and doing things for 10 minutes each hour. Raise your keyboard to a comfortable level for "stand-up" typing several times a day. You will be surprise how comfortable it is, with less pressure on your wrists and arms while typing. Gradually increase the time you stand while working.  Walk whenever you have the opportunity, and eat a healthy diet. By gradually increasing the time you are on your feet each day, you will improve your health and increase your longevity.