Sitting the new smoking? Really? Surprisingly the research is clear, sitting for prolonged, uninterrupted periods causes shifts in your metabolism that mirror those seen with smoking.
"The effects of extended periods of sedentary behavior in otherwise physically active individuals have begun to be delineated, and they seem to be characterized by metabolic alterations commonly seen in diabetogenic [diabetes] and atherogenic [heart disease] profiles." 1
"Independent of physical activity, television viewing has been reported to be associated with obesity, metabolic syndrome, and incident type 2 diabetes among adults. A recent study has also reported an independent effect of television viewing on metabolic risk factors in a sample of adults who met the physical activity guidelines for physical activity." 1
It is not just the lack of movement that sitting creates, sitting itself a toxic stressor. You could be mistaken for thinking that if you exercise enough it helps to counteract prolonged periods of sitting. This research seems to indicate that if you sit for prolonged periods, you are still at risk of chronic illness down the track.
Sit for work? What can you do?
Movement is key, try to get up least every hour. Try 10 deep squats or star jumps. These are great movements to get the whole body moving.
I discuss with all my patients, simple and easy strategies to help with sitting. Want a personalised plan for you? Come and see me in my practice in Windsor Prahran, just off Chapel Street. Small and simple strategies can really make a difference to help alleviate back aches and pain and even headaches and neck pain.
Dr. Nathan Jenner (Chiropractor)
1. Katzmarzyk et al. (2009) Sitting time and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 41, No. 5, pp. 998-100