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Sitting all day is not good for you. Really not good. Here’s why.
Jul 7th, 2014 by I-SV Host

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Emerging science has data that suggests it is dangerous to sit all day.  Health benefits increase the more time you spend standing or walking daily.

Forty three different studies published last week, indicate for the more time you sit, there is an increase in chances of colon, endometrial, and lung cancers.  The study suggest each hour you sit reduces your life expectancy by 21.8 minutes.

How sitting affects the human body:

Sitting burns 50 fewer calories per hour compared to standing or walking.  Leg muscles need to work more to keep you upright and balanced and that burns an extra 50 calories per hour.  Instead of sitting for 8 hours, if you stand for 4 and sit for 4, you burn an extra 1,000 calories per week without changing your diet or exercise.  If you do this for a year, it is the equivalent of 50,000 extra calories, roughly the same as expended in running 15 marathons.

Other ill effects of sitting:

Sitting based idle muscle cells release much lower amounts of lipase, an enzyme that helps eliminate fats from the bloodstream and helps maintain higher levels of HC (higher “good” cholesterol.

Your body also becomes more resistant to insulin when sitting.  And genes that normally suppress inflammation are also altered when you sit, possibly contributing to increased cancer rates observed.

Of course, work is not the only place you sit.  Time watching TV at home impacts health too.  Research shows that watching 4 or more hours of TV a day (while sitting) increase heart attacks, chest pain, or other cardiovascular disease even when controlling for diet and exercise.  And more time sitting also increases the chance of developing type 2 diabetes by 112%.

So what should you do?

Step 1:  Get up from sitting.

Find time to systematically get up from your desk.  Stand and walk while on the phone.  Stand during meeting.  Install your printer farther from your desk to make you get up every so often.

Step 2:  Opt for a standing desk or sit/stand desk.

Adjustable Height Desk - YouTube 1 Minute Video

Adjustable Height Desk – YouTube 20 Second Video

If you work at in a cubicle, have one work surface set for standing (works with desk surfaces that are supported by cantilevered supports) and one for sitting (experts recommend taking sitting breaks rather than stand all day to reduce strain on your heels and knees).  Or convert your work surface to sit/stand by replacing the desk legs with mechanical or electrically adjustable legs.  Most manufacturers offer just the legs to help keep your investment lower.

Step 3:  Try to cut down on your TV hours.

If you have a dog(s), take them out a little more often (good for them and you).  Or simply take a few short walking breaks every few minutes during otherwise sedentary periods.  With new TV technology that allows you to “save” programs for later viewing, use it.  You will not miss anything and be able to speed through stuff you’d rather not watch anyway.

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