The Harmful Effects of Sitting

According to Lisa Marshall at Men’s Journal, the time we spend sitting during the day may be one of the most detrimental things we do to our long-term health. The 33 year old Adam St. Pierre who runs more than 50 miles a week and goes to a massage therapist twice monthly experienced this firsthand. Last year, during the height of his running season, was being bothered by tight hip flexors. He tried nearly everything to alleviate this issue, but seemingly nothing was working. That is when Adam decided to convert his working space to a standing desk. According to Marshall, his ailment was cured within just one week.

Studies show that sitting every day can carry longterm health risks

Studies show that sitting every day can carry longterm health risks

Marshalls points out that  sitting may represent one of the least conspicuous health threats of the 21st century. Experts in the new field of inactivity physiology say that a rise in blood sugar, the tightening of muscles, the slowing of blood flow to the heart are all attributed to sitting for prolonged periods of time.  Marc Hamilton, who serves as a professor at Louisiana’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center, says that this sedentary activity for a day or week at a time is not particularly harmful. But, doing this everyday over the course of years or even decades can incredibly detrimental to one’s health. A recent study reveals that people who, on average, are sitting for the majority of the day develop cardiovascular disease as twice the rate of those who do not.

The data also highlights a somewhat unexpected effect regarding exercise and sitting. Marathoners are found to sit around an astonishing 11 hours the days that they train. Additionally, people sit twice as much on the days that they exercise.

However, experts say that the solution to the problem is quite easy and simple. Small movements even while sitting can have a big impact. Simply fidgeting in your chair, or flexing your calves can have a dramatic effect. Experts call this type of movement NEAT (non exercise activity thermogenesis). Studies have found that the these small movements can burn as much as 400 calories each day. That’s not to say that one shouldn’t exercise regularly or opt for a standing desk, but supplementing your daily routine with NEAT can help you in the long run . Experts have outlined 4 simple tips to help you stand more. These including standing when you feel tired or you yawn, plan your standing/sitting in minutes per day, changing your mindset about sitting, and take quick walks throughout the day.

 

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