Prolonged Sitting May Increase Your Risk for Premature Death and Disease

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Many of us have jobs that require us to sit for countless hours every day at our desk working on the computer or doing other paperwork. And sitting usually does not stop there. We sit in the car on the drive home from work, eating our meals, and of course who doesn't come home from a busy day only to plop down on the sofa to relax, read and watch T.V. In a article published in the November 2009 issue of Women's Health Magazine, the average American spends 56 hours per week sitting--the equivalent of 2 full days per week and then some.

How does all this sitting affect our health?

Prolonged sitting may be leading us down the road to poor health. Sitting may also be a contributing factor to the increase in cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. According to a study published in the May 2009 issue of the Journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, the official Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, sitting for extended periods of time may increase our risk of premature death, not to mention an increase in disease.

And other studies are revealing that prolonged periods of sitting, even for those who exercise on a regular basis, can be detrimental to our overall health and well being. According to a University of Missouri study published in November 2007, sitting for hours on end can have adverse consequences on our health, even for those who get in 30-60 minutes of exercise every day. The study stated even individuals "exercising, even for an hour a day, was not sufficient to reverse the effect."

The human body was not designed to sit. It was designed to stand and move. This is why it is so important to make it a practice to get up at least once every hour to walk around and do some light stretches or walking in place. Even pacing while on the phone or walking during your child's soccer/baseball/dance practice can have a positive impact on your health. It takes time to develop the discipline to get up and move, but knowing that your body will receive the health benefits of movement is a step in the right direction.

Were you aware of the consequences that prolonged sitting has on your health? What are some of the ways you incorporate periods of activity into your day?