If you run 5 miles a day – good for you! Perhaps you bench press 200 pounds and sport a black belt in judo – well done! Maybe you bend and stretch your way to nirvana in a daily yoga practice – namaste!
Unfortunately, if you spend most of your non-workout time sitting on your well-toned rear end, you may still suffer from sitting disease. Regular, vigorous exercise is obviously a good thing, but according to the latest studies, it’s not necessarily an antidote to excessive sitting.
Epidemiologist Steven Blair, a professor of public health at the University of South Carolina, conducted a study that found that even men who routinely exercised were at greater risk of heart disease if they were sedentary for more than 23 hours a week. “Even if you get up in the morning, get on your treadmill for 30 minutes, and you think you’ve done your exercise for the day, and then you just go sit around and do nothing, you’ve unwound all of that benefit you made in the morning,” Blair said.
Similarly, Australian researchers found that people who exercised regularly but reported sitting for more than four hours a day doubled their likelihood of serious heart problems and sitting disease.
Luckily, the answer for “active couch potatoes” is a lot easier than another trip to the gym – all you have to do is stand up every now and then. You can set the VARIDESK app for standing reminders at whatever interval you choose. So, don’t give up that exercise regimen, but remember that it doesn’t inoculate you from sitting disease.