By design, our bodies were made for regular movement. Inevitably so, our current society calls for more sitting and less standing to earn our day to day livelihood! Whether it is work, doing a house chore, travelling or even relaxing, most of the hours in our daily lives are spent seated. Ever thought of how much you tend to want to sit down? Or how your children take long hours seated on the computer playing a game or watching TV after long hours of being seated at school while packing up calories from comfort foods?
New studies by the Harvard health Institute indicate that more than half of the average person’s waking hours are spent sitting. This is during work, watching television, commuting or other physically inactive pursuits. But does it matter how long we sit even if we exercise for a few hours?
Similar findings indicate that sitting is now a proven health hazard that is directly related to causing type 2 diabetes, cancer, depression and development of dementia. Up until recently, if you exercised for 1 hour or more in a day you were certainly considered physically active, no questions. Currently, a consistent body of research suggests that it is practically impossible to undo 8 hours of being inactive with just 2hours of exercise. In a 2012 study carried out by behavioral nutrition and physical activity, researchers found that on average a person spent 64 hours sitting, 28 hours standing and 11 hours probably walking or carrying out other activities besides sleep in one week.
Sitting for these long periods of time makes the body to shut down the metabolic process. When your muscles especially the leg muscles are immobile, the circulation of blood slows down. You use less blood sugar and burn less fat which in turn increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Although some exercises are great for your circulation, spending more hours seated depreciates the health benefits from the small exercises. Other studies from American heart society indicate that sitting for long is a risk for depression caused by less secretion of “feel good hormones” to your brain.
Scared out of your chair? Good. Because the remedy is as simple as standing and taking breaks within your activities, encouraging your children to run around more and preferring to walk for short distances instead of being stuck in traffic! If you can do it while standing the better. Come on get up, and eradicate the sitting disease from your life!
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