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Sitting can Kill You

Sitting can Kill YouWell, it’s official, there is a study out now that concludes: Sitting all day is bad for you. This includes the people who sit in offices all day long, sit in the car or bus going to and home from work and sitting in front of the TV at night until bedtime! We all do it, and even our kids are sitting more than they ever did. They are too busy playing video games instead of being outside playing with their friends and playing sports. We see this as an ever-increasing epidemic of overweight people in our society, and many do not realize that this inactivity literally can kill you.  There are many reasons for this, and we will explore a few of them in this post. Read on and let us know what you think of our comments.  We enjoy hearing from readers. Why is this so?

  • You burn fewer calories, so you get fat
  • You do not use your muscles, so they get weak
  • You do not exercise your heart, so it gets weak
  • Your blood does not circulate as well, so all kinds of bad things happen
  • Your lung capacity decreases, so you cannot exert yourself as much

We did not need a bunch of  “inactivity researchers” to figure this out since it is pretty apparent when you compare active people to someone who sits much of the day, but now a study has been completed that proves it. Are we lazy or just get into a rut that causes us to avoid exertion?

Sitting can Kill You – Why is This So?

Basically, energy into your body is either burned off in exercise or converted to fat. People who sit all day will convert more food to fat than those people who are active, even if it just means going for a walk.

If you eat the same amount as someone who is active, the person who is inactive will gain weight! If you eat more calories than what you burn off even by sitting, you will also gain weight!  Also your overall health is going to decline.

In the study, neither group exercised or participated in exercise programs. The active group did not sit. They walked, they stood, and they took stairs instead of the elevator etc., while the other group sat all of the time and avoided any chance of exerting themselves. These people took the elevator, the escalator, even parked their car as close as they could to the entrance to the office or the mall.

They both ate the same amount of food. The inactive people gained weight, while the active folks did not or at least not as much! Being idle doesn’t just make you fat. It makes you sick, too. The conditioning of the active people certainly did not put them in the status of being fit, but they could withstand more exertion for a longer period than those who were inactive.

Sitting can Kill You – What happens when you Sit:

  • Electrical activity in the muscles drops
  • Leg muscles begin to atrophy
  • Your calorie-burning rate immediately plunges
  • Insulin effectiveness drops within a single day
  • The risk of being obese increases
  • Cholesterol increases, which could cause heart attacks

Over a lifetime, sitting really can kill you:

  • Men who sit 6 hours a day are 20% more likely to die than men who sit 3 hours a day
  • Women who sit 6 hours a day are 40% more likely to die

Another bummer: You can’t counter the harmful effects of sitting by exercising once in a while. You have to stop sitting.  Or at least start moving around more. Once muscles atrophy (get weak and reduce in size), it takes a long time to rebuild them with exercise and activity. The only way to avoid this occurring it to stay active!

So get off your ass!

Go for a walk regularly, go to the gym a minimum of 3 times a week, walk around the block, park your car a long way from the entrance and walk. Find ways that will help you become more active.

Comments are welcome; our readers will appreciate any constructive comments you have about what sitting can do to you.

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One Response to “Sitting can Kill You”

  1. Lori Appleman Says:

    I’ve researched this topic extensively and you are right, being a gym hound isn’t enough if you sit for 4 or more hours every day. Some tips to improve your health.
    #1 stand part of the day. Your workstation can be modified so you can stand part of the day and doing so not only reduces risk but 2 hours a day can help you lose 20 lbs in a year. (Dr. Mark Benden, Texas A&M).
    #2 drink water. Every time you hit the restroom, refill your glass. The water is good for you too and that little walk counters the ill effects of sitting.
    #3 consider using an alternative chair that promotes movement for at least part of the day. The Varier Balans chairs rock and the Swopper looks like s q-tip on a spring. Both promote core strength and alertness too.

    These differences can save your life, reduce pain and absenteeism, and improve your energy so you get more done.

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