Recently, there has been a cascade of study results demonstrating the negative effects of sitting for long periods on our health. It does not seem to matter whether it is sitting in front of a TV screen, computer monitor, or ice cream stand...it's the lack of motion that seems to be the problem.
Here is an excerpt from the article entitled "Sitting can be more dangerous than smoking, study shows":
Going to work could be more harmful than smoking, a new study shows.
That is if your job involves sitting around for long periods of time.
Research carried out by the American College of Cardiology shows that prolonged sitting is linked to increased risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer and even early death and could be just as dangerous, if not more so, than smoking.
Cardiologist Dr David Coven said: Smoking certainly is a major cardiovascular risk factor and sitting can be equivalent in many cases.
The fact of being sedentary causes factors to happen in the body that are very detrimental.'
He told CBS that when you sit for long periods of time your body goes into storage mode and stops working as effectively as it should.
And just like smoking, the more you do it, the greater the likelihood of developing one or more of the diseases.
Paul Golin told CBS he was sitting up to eight hours a day until he had a health scare which he believes was largely brought on by sitting down all day (full story here).
My Take: I know I am guilty...as are most of our San Francisco Chiropractic patients...and most of the people reading this. Everyone sits too much it seems. So what is the solution? Well...you can rig up a treadmill to your desk like the guy in the article above or gal in the feature photo. Or...you can just do a lot of walking and moving around while you work and make sure you get a lot of exercise...at least 30 minutes per day. Take breaks and take a walk...walk at lunch...take the stairs, etc.
Unfortunately, sitting all day and then just going and working out a few days a week is not good enough according to some (see Exercise Won't Help Serious Couch Potatoes).
It seems we need to keep moving throughout the day, which means taking the stairs, taking breaks and walking around...moving around a lot. Because like the old saying goes...Life Is Motion.
Dr. Eben Davis is a chiropractor in San Francisco, as well as an ergonomic expert and consultant.