Ask yourself, how many hours a day do you spend seated? Think about it – from your morning commute to work, to eight hours or more at the office, to watching TV in the evenings, people are spending more time seated than at any other time in history. And it’s killing us, whether we realize it or not. Doctors have begun labeling these ill-effects collectively as “Sitting Disease.”
The symptoms of this disease paint a sobering picture. When you sit for an extended period of time, the blood flow to your legs decreases dramatically, along with the number of calories you burn. It can lead to elevated blood pressure and blood sugar levels, which in turn increases the risk factors for obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. What’s more, sitting disease can significantly limit your life expectancy about the same as smoking.
Maybe you work out at the gym and do what you can to stay fit. Surely that offsets the side-effects of sitting, right? No, actually. Even those who regularly work out are not immune. While regular physical activity is always good for you, doctors have found that this disease impacts the fitness guru right alongside the couch potato.
So, if sitting is a part of our everyday reality, how can you combat this disease? The answer is deceptively simple – stand up. Every 30 minutes or so, stand up, stretch and walk around for few moments. Park your treadmill in front of your TV, take the stairs or even walk over to speak to a co-worker instead of sending that email. Our bodies were meant for much more than the cubicle or the couch. Simply put, the more we can make a stand for ourselves, the less that sitting disease will negatively affect our lives.