Too much sitting does more than just widen the cushion that you are sitting on.  In our changing world of technology, entertainment, and automatic transportation, long periods of sitting are part of our normal day.  I know that if you’re reading this, then you are probably interested in LIVING YOUNGER and harnessing the positive impact of movement.  

While researching this post, my mind wandered to the lifestyle of my grandparents who were cotton and peanut farmers in western Oklahoma.  They lived active lives until their nineties without prescriptions or chronic doctor visits.  They did very little sitting!  When it got dark, they headed to bed and then were “up with the chickens.”  

Sitting has been termed “the new smoking” and has been linked to a number of health concerns, including:

  • Increased risk of cancer
  • Increased blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • Excess body fat
  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • Increased cholesterol

It is important to note that high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, and diabetes are also risk factors for dementia.  It’s this slippery slope of chronic disease that motivated me to start this blog. I’ve seen way too much of it at my “front row seat” as a dentist for over three decades.

One interesting study compared adults who spent less than two hours in front of “screen-based entertainment” with those who who spent more than four hours a day in recreational screen time.  Those who logged more screen time had an increased risk of death from any cause as well as an approximately 125 percent increase in events associated with cardiovascular disease such as heart attack or chest pain.  

START SOMEWHERE intentionally moving more with these simple strategies:

  1. Set a thirty minute timer on your phone as a reminder to get up and stretch and move.
  2. Position your phone away from where you are sitting, if possible, so that you will have to get up to check messages.
  3. Check out installing an adjustable desk top that can be converted to a standing desk.  You burn up to 30 percent more calories while standing than while sitting.  
  4. Take the stairs whenever possible.  A single flight here and there throughout the day can make a big difference!
  5. Walk a few laps around your area, no matter how small.

Actively moving, even leisurely movement burns more calories and increases your energy.  Muscle movement triggers the body to break down fats and sugars.  Prolonged sitting is an independent risk factor for many diseases that will rob you of joy, independence, time, and money.  To LIVE YOUNGER,  be more intentional about maximizing the positive impact of movement.  Avoid or minimize the chronic problems that are becoming too common in our world of automation and technology.  You can do it.  I will help you!  Thanks for joining me.

Resources:

http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2091327

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/physical-activity-and-cancer/physical-activity-facts-and-evidence

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/much-sitting-linked-heart-disease-diabetes-premature-death-201501227618

The Positive Impact of Movement

The Positive Impact of Movement