If you’re a runner, congratulations – you have a lot more discipline than me and you’re probably in great shape. So, no need to worry about sitting disease, right? Not so fast there, marathon man.
Even though we’ve talked about this subject a lot on our blog, it’s pretty cool to see a bastion of physical fitness like Runner’s World make the case against sitting disease as well. In an article titled “Sitting is the New Smoking- Even for Runners” , exercise physiologist Travis Saunders noted, “Up until very recently, if you exercised for 60 minutes or more a day, you were considered physically active, case closed … Now a consistent body of emerging research suggests it is entirely possible to meet current physical activity guidelines while still being incredibly sedentary, and that sitting increases your risk of death and disease, even if you are getting plenty of physical activity. It’s a bit like smoking. Smoking is bad for you even if you get lots of exercise. So is sitting too much.” Well said Travis, we couldn’t agree more!
The part I found really surprising about the article was the finding that active people may actually be more at risk for sitting disease than their couch potato counterparts! Turns out, if you wake up and hit the gym or run a few miles, you may feel like you’ve earned the right to sit around for the rest of the day. “Research presented at the 2013 annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine from Illinois State University reports that people are about 30 percent less active overall on days when they exercise versus days they don’t hit the road or the gym.” This is important for two reasons: One, it’s good information that will hopefully help a lot of people live healthier lives. And two, it shatters the preconceived notion of the sitting disease sufferer as an overweight, unhealthy, low-activity person. That super-fit runner friend of yours? He or she could be suffering from sitting disease and not even know it.
Now, this is a Runner’s World article, so obviously they’re not prescribing less running or other strenuous physical activity (and neither are we), but rather more low-level, non-sedentary activity throughout the day. Like, say…. I dunno … using a standing desk maybe? Just a thought. Some other suggestions for non-exercise activity can be found here.