The risk of sitting too much

Don’t just sit there

Our day to day lives have changed a lot in the past 50 years. Changes in technology have meant that most of us spend a lot of our day sitting or being sedentary.

The problems beginning to appear include increased incidence of heart disease, diabetes 2, obesity, to name the top contenders.

Take a moment to think about how much walking and standing you do in a day and how often you sit for meals, work and travel. Alarming isn’t it?

But I go to the gym

Research shows that even “physically active” (which means you do 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week), you are still at risk of increased incidence of disease. Sitting less is the most important factor in staying healthy.

But I’m pretty active, aren’t I?

Are you really? Let’s say you sleep eight hours per day, the remaining 16 hours are typically filled with domestic and work duties.

Have a look at this example provided by the South Australian Health.

  • 7.00 am exercise: 45 minutes
  • drive to work: 45 minutes
  • work on the computer: 4 hours
  • eat lunch: 45 minutes
  • work on the computer: 4 hours
  • drive home: 45 minutes
  • eat dinner: 30 minutes
  • watch TV/read/computer: 3 hours
  • 11.00 pm bed.

Total time sitting: 13 hrs 45 mins.

Breaking it up and get active – Sit less

Research suggests that no matter what your total sitting time is, regular interruptions from sitting (even just by standing up) may help to reduce your risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.

It appears that resisting gravity is a very important task we perform daily. In fact, if you stand and move around every 30 minutes throughout the day you will reduce your risk of disease.

So get out of your chair and move about, take short walks to a colleagues desk instead of sending an email. Take the stairs, meet friends for lunch and walk about. Get creative and find ways to reduce your sitting time during the day.

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you have gained some useful insights and knowledge to maintain and improve your health.

Vicki Tate