Why Too Much Sitting Is Killing You


Sitting-Position2The news is out and it is shocking. Those of us who sit too much each day are killing ourselves. Even people who exercise regularly are at a high risk of a short life span, diabetes, heart disease and even cancer if they spend much of the day sitting.

Dr. David Alter, senior scientist at the University Health Network in Toronto, Canada says that more than half the day in an average person’s life is spent in a sedentary fashion. People watch television or spend an entire work day in front of a computer, all while sitting down. Unfortunately, even the act of exercising and getting plenty of daily activity does not alone reduce the risks for disease.

During a thorough research, it was found that people who sit for prolonged periods of time are 24 percent more at risk of dying from health issues and diseases than people who sit less. The research was conducted for a period of one to 16 years among participants in 47 studies.

The studies did not use a cutoff for defining how much sedentary activity was too much. It was determined, according to a University of Toronto research leader who is a doctoral candidate, that sitting more than eight hours per day is enough to generate health risks.

Those health risks were found by the research conducted that too much sitting increased cardiovascular disease by about 18 percent. Cancers, including breast, ovarian, endometrial and colon, were found to increase by about 17 percent among chronic sitters. A staggering 91 percent increase for Type 2 Diabetes was found to be a real risk for those who spend too much time sitting. The good news is that people who sat, but who also participated in regular exercise were at a slightly lower risk for developing heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

The researchers found, however, that those who exercised did not eliminate the risks for these health problems entirely. Yet, exercise did work to lower the risks. People who exercise and also sit for up to eight hours a day are about one-third as at risk for developing health problems as those who did not exercise. These results were found in 10 of the 47 studies, and apply only to those people who reported that they did or did not exercise.

There has been more research conducted concerning the increase in health problems among those who sit too much. The largest, most rigorous study actually included over 830,000 people who died from health issues. Of those people 550,000 developed and succumbed to heart disease and 745,000 developed cancers.

There are ways to combat the health problems of sitting. Increase activity levels during the day. Take breaks from the computer, or even use a treadmill desk. If this is not feasible, move around when eating a snack or take a walk to the train or bus instead of driving in a car.

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