According to recent studies, the average American sits for more than six hours per day (55 percent of waking time) doing sedentary behaviors, such as sitting, which causes a significant impact on health and well-being. The typical work day consists of a 20 to 30 minute drive to work; sitting in front of a computer for three to four hours with minimal breaks to move around; going to lunch; returning to a computer for three to four hours; driving home; and sitting on the couch for the remaining three to four hours of the day to watch TV or eat dinner.
This lifestyle is wreaking havoc on our health. A 2010 American Cancer Society Study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, followed 123,216 individuals (69,776 women and 53,440 men), from 1993 to 2006 and found the following: that women who were inactive and sat more than six hour a day were 94 percent more likely to die during the time period studied than those who were physically active and sat less than three hours a day. Men were 48 percent more likely to die than their standing counterparts. The scary part is that these findings were independent of physical activity levels, meaning that an hour a day of exercise does not offset the risks associated with hours spent in a seated position.
Why is sitting so bad for your health?
Immediately after you sit down, the electrical activity in your muscles slows down and your calorie-burning rate drops to one calorie per minute, a third of what it does if you are walking. Sitting for prolonged periods also can affect insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake, which can quickly lead to Type II diabetes. After a week of sitting more than six hours per day our bodies begin to see an increase in triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and insulin resistance. This means that your muscles aren’t taking in fat and your blood sugar levels are elevated, directly leading to weight gain.
Continuing to sit for longer than six hours per day over the course of several years has been shown to lead to:
Emma Dill - Nov 27, 2023
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