Too much sitting is not just bad for your back
It’s well known that excessive sitting aggravates low back conditions and destabilizes your lumbar spine making you prone to back injury, but recent research links it to life threatening health issues.
Is prolonged sitting really dangerous? Sorry PC folks. The answer is – Yes, it does, according to the Australian Diabetes, Obesity, and Lifestyle Study. In this national survey, researchers followed 8,800 adults, ages 25 and older, for six and a half years and found that each hour subjects spent lolling about watching television was associated with an 18 percent increase in death from heart disease – and an 11 percent increase in overall mortality. Those who watched TV for four or more hours daily were 80 percent more likely to die of heart disease and 46 percent more likely to die overall than those who watched two hours or less.
Researchers say it’s not just the overweight that are in trouble. Even at a healthy weight, sitting for hours can make it harder for the body to process blood sugar and blood fats – an endeavor that requires the chemicals we produce when our muscles contract, as they do when we stand or move. Study authors encourage us to exercise regularly and break up our sitting with movement. Take a walk at lunch, or go talk to your coworker rather than sending an e-mail.
Owen N, Healy GN, Mathews CE, Dunstan DW. Too Much Sitting: The Population Health Science of Sedentary Behavior. Exerc. Sport Sci. Rev., 2010; 38(3): 105-113.
Sedentary behaviors (from the Latin sedere, ‘‘to sit’’) are those behaviors that involve sitting & low…