Sitting Too Long Could Kill You
Try these five tips to get off your tush at work—and potentially add years to your life.
-Deborah Dunham, YouBeauty.com
Clear some space in your cubicle. You are going to want to get down and do some push-ups after reading this.
Published in Archives of Internal Medicine this week, a new study analyzed 200,000 people and found that prolonged time spent on our derrieres may contribute to an untimely demise, in part because it increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Specifically, researchers found that adults who sit for 11 or more hours a day (add up your driving time, office time and Real Housewives couch potato time) have a 40 percent increased risk of dying in the next three years compared with those who sit less than four hours a day.
Given the fact that the average adult spends a whopping 90 percent of their leisure time sitting down and less than half of us meet the minimum daily physical activity requirements set by the World Health Organization (150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise a week), this is definitely cause for alarm.
And those exercise minimums are not always easy to meet.
“We know that we need to get 10,000 steps a day, according to the American Heart Association,” explained Beth Ricanati, M.D., YouBeauty Wellness Advisor. “If you’re sitting that long, it’s impossible to get that many steps a day.”
You might be thinking: “But I hit the gym every morning before work, so this doesn’t apply to me.” Sorry to say, but it does.
While working out regularly does give you better odds, it’s still not enough if you spend the better part of your day sitting (damn desk job!). While inactive people who sat the most had double the risk of dying within three years versus active people who sat the least, staying seated for that amount of time is dangerous regardless of your workout regimen.
So does that mean all of your hard-earned sweat in cycling classes and on the treadmill is worthless?
“It’s not quite so black and white,” notes Dr. Ricanati. “The hour at the gym is better than nothing. Get the hour.” Not only will you get the cardio benefits, but you’ll release stress and find that you’re more self-aware of your body during the rest of the day. “If you’re sitting most of the day, it’s really easy to be mindless across the board,” she added. And that can translate to a slew of unhealthy behaviors, such as poor nutritional choices.
Up next, tips on how to stay active even while you’re at work!