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[Infographic] Why Sitting Might Be The Biggest Threat To Your Health

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Even if you’re an exercise-obsessed juggernaut, chances are that you spend a massive chunk of the day sitting in one form or another, whether it’s chained behind a desk or rag-doll-limp in front of a TV. Think about yourself — how much time are you really standing, running, flipping, lifting, cooking, etc. every day?

We live in a sitting culture, and for the most part it’s unavoidable. The unfortunate reality is that sitting down for marathon sessions isn’t just bad for you, it’s killing you and absolutely destroying your body. It physically causes the body to cut off electrical activity and shunt blood flow away the lower extremities, shuts down our metabolism, and inhibits any ability to burn fat for fuel.

Translation: you’re getting fatter by the minute, and a regular workout regimen isn’t enough to offset the effects.

Studies have found that, on average, people who sit for long periods of time double their risk of diabetes and heart disease, and bump up their overall chance of death. Compared to those who sat for fewer than 3 hours/day, women who sat for >6 hours/day were found to be 34% more likely to die over a 13 year span; men who sat for >6 hours/day were 17% more likely to die than their sub-3 hours/day counterparts. Sit for over 10 hours per day? That risk spikes to 48%.123

The story doesn’t get prettier when that sitting is done in front of a TV screen.  Australian researchers found that each hour of TV steals 22 minutes from your life, the health equivalent of smoking two cigarettes.45

The key here is awareness. Sitting is slow-acting venom. While you might not be able to quit your desk job and take up a new occupation with LeBron, you can be informed and actively prevent yourself from entering full-fledged sitting binge mode.

Break up sitting sessions. Once every hour do anything — stand up at your desk or in your next meeting, take a walk around the office, stretch, or climb a few flights of stairs. Simply standing up once per hour can resuscitate your metabolism, ignite your circulatory system, and prevent many of the degenerative conditions caused by the sitting epidemic. And if you’re nuts like me, go for a few sets of push-ups somewhere mildly inconspicuous…it’s for your health.

The infographic below from MedicalBillingAndCoding.com offers a nice visual overview of the issue. For more tips on how to infuse fitness into your 9-to-5, consult our guide here.




 

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References, Notes, Links

  1. http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=669602 []
  2. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10755163 []
  3. http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/172/4/419.abstract []
  4. http://www.leanitup.com/tv-kills-say-what-each-hour-of-tv-you-watch-shortens-your-life-by/ []
  5. http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2011/08/01/bjsm.2011.085662 []

 

Bryan DiSanto

Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto