‘Sitting disease’ is the term used by the scientific community to refer to the dreadful health consequences of our sedentary lifestyle. If your working or studying activity is office-based, you are unknowingly exposed to one of the greatest work hazard of our time: the risk of ‘sitting disease’ linked to premature death. When commenting on […]
‘Sitting disease’ is the term used by the scientific community to refer to the dreadful health consequences of our sedentary lifestyle. If your working or studying activity is office-based, you are unknowingly exposed to one of the greatest work hazard of our time: the risk of ‘sitting disease’ linked to premature death.
When commenting on the sitting disease, which has become prevalent since the 20th Century, the scientific community came to the worrying conclusion that “30 minutes a day at the gym may not counteract the detrimental effects of 8, 9 or 10 hours of sitting”.
Research conducted on 17,013 individuals found that people who spent most of their time sitting were about 50 percent more likely to die during the following 12 year period.
Also those who are seated for a high number of consecutive hours on a daily basis have 24 percent greater risk of colon cancer, 32 percent greater risk of endometrial cancer and 21 percent higher risk of lung cancer.
The conclusion of these studies is that there is a strong correlation between sitting time and mortality from all causes and cardio vascular diseases, regardless of physical activity. “In addition to the promotion of moderate to vigorous physical activity and a healthy weight, physicians should discourage sitting for extended periods”.
Further studies found that:
Now before you crash out on the sofa in front of a Breaking Bad box set, remember that EACH HOUR of television sat down is associated with an 11 percent increase in all-cause premature death, regardless of age, sex, weight or physical activity. So hang on a minute, watching all of Harry Potter’s movies, snacking on cola and popcorn, is a really dangerous activity and chances are you are involving your loved ones too.This calls for movie theaters with treadmills. Standing up increases blood flow to the brain by 10 to 15 percent, which improves your ability to focus and process information. School children standing up improved test scores by about 20 percent.
Sitting disease may be the cause, favour, accelerate, be an aggravating factor of any health issue you are or might be experiencing in the future!
As little as 15 minutes of exercise can reduce by 14 percent the risk of premature death and increase lifespan by 3 years. Any further 15 minutes of daily exercises reduced all-causes death by rates by 4 percent.
All these figures say one thing we already know: to be healthy we have to exercise. There is no substitute, no exercise pill or vitamin, sorry but get off your butt and move! Muscle mass is another factor of longevity (link). Will you be motivated if I tell you that the odds of Alzheimer’s – for which there is no known cure – are four times higher in people who were less active during their free time between the age of 20 to 60 compared to their more active peers. Furthermore, exercise reduces the chance of major diseases. It decreases the chances of dying of cancer and cuts the risk of heart attack – number one cause of premature death – by 75 to 80 percent.
What exercises is best for you against sitting disease?
When it comes to exercise, there are three categories of individuals: high responders, average responders and non responders, so be smart and keep doing what is best for you without losing faith.
Bear in mind that intense exercise for shorter periods has the same or more effect than longer more moderate exercise and if you do nothing else, you can at least devote 3 minutes of your weekly time doing this excellent little cycling exercise. Do not forget everyday non-exercise movements, which could account for 25 percent of more of your daily energy use. My best tip is: find any excuse to increase it. For example:
Only 15 minutes of moderate walking around the block after eating has been showed to reduce blood sugar levels by 50 percent. So what are you waiting for? Fight the sitting disease, Stand up and move, as if your life depends on it, because it does!
Med Sci Sports Exercise 2009 May 41(5):998-1005
J. of Epidemiology 2010;172.419-429
Aude is an ex corporate Lawyer with a passion for health, self development and independence which lead her to give up her former career to help others through health.
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