Is Sitting The New Smoking?
If you’ve heard the phrase “sitting is the new smoking,” and were a little confused, let us explain why your primary care doctor says sitting at a desk – or anywhere for that matter – for more than six hours a day is slowly killing you. Eighty-six percent of Americans who stay seated all day at work. The extended time spent on your backside puts you at a higher risk for serious diseases, like cancer.
Women are at an increased risk for health challenges caused by sitting. According to the American Cancer Society, 37 percent of women face a greater chance of premature death compared to those who stay seated for three hours or less per day. As your primary care doctor will explain, sitting too much puts you at an increased risk for:
- Heart disease
- Shorter life span
Staying perched at your desk for hours on end isn’t the only sitting that speeds up your route to one of these deadly diseases. Sitting in a car or plane for constant travel or spending a weekend on your coach binging on a new TV show can be just as dangerous to your health.
What Is Sitting Disease?
The dangers of sitting for hours at a time increase because your blood flow is disrupted as your muscles aren’t contracting. Glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity is reduced. This causes which he amount of fat in your blood to increase. In turn, your risk for Type 2 diabetes increases dramatically.
Is Sitting Bad For Me?
Any medical facility you find with a quick “primary care near me” search will advise you to take breaks from your desk throughout the workday. Giving your body intermittent moments of movement will help ignite blood flow and ward against a Sitting Disease.
Our family doctors advise making these small changes to your daily routine:
- Stand and stretch frequently
- Walk to a coworker’s office rather than send an email
- Use the stairs instead of the elevator
- Request a standing desk if possible to alternate standing and sitting
- Use a break or portion of your lunch time to take a lap around your office building or a local park
- Eat lunch in the break room or outside to avoid staying sedentary at your desk
- Drink plenty of water (you’ll stay hydrated and your body will force you to move with restroom breaks)
- When calling and texting, do it while standing or walking to get in extra steps
Your health will be a replica of how you spend your days. A short walk every couple of hours – even around the office – will help you avoid major health risks and give you a fighting chance at a clean routine health exam. You can remain productive while still taking much needed breaks from the desk.