Sitting is the new smoking. ~Health catchphrase, c.2009  Bonnie Berkowitz and Patterson Clark, 2014, Don’t just sit there, <https://www.washingtonpost.com/apps/g/page/national/the-health-hazards-of-sitting/750/>. 

 

  • Sitting is like eating, necessary, yet enormously harmful if you spend an excess      amount of time doing it.
  • Sitting for extended periods of time has been linked to several health concerns, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.
  • The solution is easy. Sit less and move more.

                                                        

The idea that sitting can be harmful may seem ridiculous at first thought. Mainly because sitting is a natural human body posture, and when people work, socialize, study or travel, they often do it in a seated position. It's like second nature.

However, that doesn't mean sitting is harmless. It's like eating, necessary, yet enormously harmful if you spend an excess amount of time doing it.

Sitting for extended periods of time has been linked to several health concerns, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. Probably you won`t believe it, but it`s better for you to stand up, while you continue reading the rest of the article.   

According to a study, people who spend more than four hours a day in front of a screen have a higher risk of early death in general and a higher risk of events related to heart disease, such as chest pain or heart attack. But sitting in front of the TV isn't the only concern. Any extended sitting, such as behind a desk at work can be harmful. The solution is easy. Sit less and move more. You might start by simply standing rather than sitting whenever you have the chance.

 

For example:

  • stand on the train or bus
  • take the stairs
  • stand while talking on the phone or eating lunch
  • set a reminder to get up every 30 minutes
  • swap some TV time for more active tasks or hobbies

The impact of movement, even leisurely movement, can be profound. In the beginning you will burn more calories, which will result in weight loss and increased energy.

Furthermore, the muscle activity needed for standing and other movement seems to trigger important reactions related to the breakdown of fats and sugars within the body.

Even though physical activity is important, “sitting too much is not the same as exercising too little” (Marc T. Hamilton, 2012). Therefore, the most important thing to do is to avoid sitting for too long. 

COPYRIGHT: This article is property of We Speak Science, a nonprofit institution co-founded by Dr. Detina Zalli (Harvard University) and Dr. Argita Zalli (Imperial College London). The article is written by Harmela Sinanaj, University of Medicine, Tirana. 

REFERENCES:

 

http://diet.mayoclinic.org/diet/move/how-harmful-is-too-much-sitting?xid=nl_MayoClinicDiet_20171012

2. https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/can-sitting-too-much-kill-you/

3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/why-sitting-is-bad-for-you#section8

4. http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/sitting-and-sedentary-behaviour-are-bad-for-your-health.aspx