Friday, January 13, 2012

Is Sitting the New Smoking? Sedentary Lifestyle May Take a Greater Toll on the Body Than You Think

Have you seen this headline, "Sitting May Be The New Smoking"? It's catchy. Makes you think ... Are they talking to me? Turns out they're talking to everyone who regularly sits for long periods of uninterrupted time (about 10 hours).

Growing research suggests the effects of sitting for long periods can be significant, including increased risk of "obesity, diabetes, cancer and early death," even for those who regularly exercise, as reported by the AARP in "Sitting: Hazardous to Your Health."

To help reduce risk, the American Institute of Cancer Research suggests getting at least 30 minutes of daily exercise, and taking several mini-breaks from sitting as part of your routine.

Just in case you need some further motivation ...

The Gawker article "Now Just Sitting Still Will Give You Cancer" reports that evidence presented at the recent American Institute for Cancer Research conference in D.C. shows "about 90,000 cases of breast and colon cancer are caused each year by people who don't get enough physical activity. [...] In a study of 123,000 people, scientists found that people sitting still tend to die sooner and that those who engage in regular physical activity."

If you're still wondering about the importance of physical exercise, you may want to take the American Institute of Cancer Research Are You Active Enough quiz online here.

Then, take a break. Get some exercise. Go outside and walk. Ride your bike. Take a brisk jog. Stand up and stretch. Dance around the office (or in the lunchroom - it's less disruptive).

There are many simple ways to add more movement into your everyday life. What works best for you? We'd love it if you'd share your suggestions for our community of readers in a comment here. Thanks!

1 comment:

Terry Zeta said...

I'm a web developer and our work really needs a lot of sitting, especially when we're on a deadline. Our only time to stand is when we need to eat and go to the cr. This really makes me bother. My family has a breast cancer history, my mother has it while she was bearing me. I'm afraid I would also have it. What can you suggest about this situation?