Here’s how sitting in one place all day can kill you1
Health experts have found that sitting for long periods of time can cause serious physical diseases.
Whether sitting at an office desk at work for several hours, or resting on a couch while watching television, many Americans have been leading very sedentary lifestyles. “Sitting disease” can lead to at least “34 chronic diseases and conditions,” according to endocrinologist James Levine, co-director of Obesity Solutions at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix and Arizona State University. USA Today said that some of those conditions can include Type 2 diabetes, cognitive decline, and death from cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
Levine, who has done extensive research on the effects of inactivity and even wrote a book, Get Up! Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It, said that the government’s physical activity guidelines are only a portion of what Americans need to follow to stay healthy.
These guidelines say that being active for 30 minutes per day for five days a week, or 2 ½ hours per week is enough, but Levine concludes that “in addition to doing that, you need to move every hour for at least 10 minutes.”
“Most people spend 10 and 15 hours a day sitting,” Levine to USA Today. “It sounds kind of irksome, but most people sit most of the time. We have to search our souls pretty deeply to find a time when we are not sitting, and sitting is contrary to what our bodies are meant to do.”
Getting up and moving 10 minutes out of every hour may seem like a task, but Levine insists that we can stay active while engaging in everyday activities.
“Take a quick walk around the block before your morning shower; take a 15-minute catch-up walk with your partner; walk with your grandchildren; bring a meal to an elderly person; walk around the living room during the TV ads; pace while folding laundry; march in place whenever you can; garden; work on a home repair project; decorate your home; go dancing; shop in the mall instead of on the Internet,” suggested Levine.
Levine reduced his decades’ worth of research to a simple word of advice for those sitting around too much. “Get up,” said Levine. “Once you get up, you’re more likely to move. Once you start being active, you become more active.”