Fitness Facts: The dangers of sitting too much
By Connie Colbert
Director, Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic
“Highly sedentary people have a greater risk of developing cancer and chronic disease,” said Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic in “Sitting is the New Smoking.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic disease is the No. 1 threat to public health in the United States, surpassing infectious disease.
About 75 percent of our health care costs go to treating chronic disease, and prolonged sitting is the No. 1 contributor. One hour of sitting is as unhealthy as smoking two cigarettes!
According to the CDC, if you get up and move every hour this can:
- Reduce the risk of breast cancer by 21%
- Reduce the risk of colon cancer by 25%
- Reduce the threat of stroke by 27%
- Reduce the threat of Type 2 diabetes by 30%
- Reduce the threat of high blood pressure by 50%
Even more: Moderate exercise does not offset the effects of sitting for prolonged periods of time, whether it is watching TV, sitting at your desk or driving a car.
What can you do at work? Here are some ideas:
- Stand while eating lunch or talking on the phone
- Walk laps with your co-workers during a meeting
- Be intentional for the day!
- Walk to get coffee
- Skip the email and walk down the hall to talk to your co-worker
- Stretch your shoulders, upper arms, chest and wrists
- Do a few calf raises: 20-30 to start
- Walk the stairs a time or two
- Stretch your lower back and reach for the sky
- Stand while you think
- Set an alarm on your phone as a reminder to move!
These all might seem like small changes, but combined in a day they can increase your chances of living a healthy life!