We all know smoking is bad for us. There is no way around that one. But would you have ever guessed how bad sitting is for us? It’s an actual epidemic in the US, mostly due to work style, environment and yes, television. Whereas in earlier times we were hunting, gathering and tending crops most of the day, we now sit an average of 9.3 hours a day and it’s literally killing us. Here is what happens in your body when you sit for more than 2 consecutive hours:
- Sitting increases your risk of death by 40%. Sitting for 6 or more hours a day makes you 40% more likely to die even if you exercise.
- Sitting is making us fat. People classified as obese tend to sit for 2.5 more hours a day than those with a healthy bmi. 1 in 3 Americans are classified as obese.
- The effects on your body as soon as you sit down: The electrical activity in your leg muscles shuts down, calorie burning drops to 1 per minute, enzymes that help break down fat reduce by 90%,
- The effects on your body after 2 hours of sitting: Your good cholesterol drops by 20%.
- The effects on your body after 24 hours of extended periods of sitting: Insulin effectiveness drops by 24% and risk of diabetes rises.
So what can you do? Break it up! Set a timer at your desk for 1 hour breaks. Even just a 5 minute break for a quick walk or some desk yoga will help you avoid the negative effects. Pop outside and walk around the block, do a few jumping jacks, make a few laps around the office – anything helps! When you get home go for a walk, move around the house and turn the TV off – the temptation to sit and watch when it is on will distract you from your life-saving goals. Those who sit in front of the TV 3 hours or more a day are 64% more likely to die from heart disease. Statistics also show that those who exercise and still watch 3 hours per day are just as fat as those who don’t. Our technologically advanced society is great for business but bad for our bodies! Break up the sitting, turn off the TV, do some yoga and enjoy a longer, healthier life!