The amount of time that a person spends sitting has been drastically increasing over the years. The changes in transportation and commute times, workplace settings, and entertainment are resulting in drastically reduced physical activity times.
Think about all of the time you spend sitting in front of a screen, whether that is a TV, computer, cell phone, or gaming system. People never had to worry about these things before! But unfortunately we are now seeing the negative health effects of sitting.
Sitting: Not So Pretty
More and more studies are being done on the dangers of sitting. Recent study results have demonstrated associations of prolonged sitting time with premature mortality, chronic diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer), metabolic syndrome, and obesity. Sitting at a desk for prolonged periods of time has also been known to cause shoulder/neck pain, tight hips, weak glutes, poor circulation in your legs, and decreased alertness.
Another recent study looked at the relationship between TV time (which is the same as sitting) and mortality rates. They found that “each one hour increment in TV time was found to be associated with an 11% and an 18% increased risk of all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality, respectively” (Owen 2012).
At first you might not think that you spend that much time sitting, but let’s brainstorm:
- Commuting to work
- Sitting at your desk working in the morning
- Sitting for lunch
- Sitting at your desk working in the afternoon
- Commuting home from work
- Sitting for dinner
- Watching TV at night
Let’s say for example that your commute to work is about 30 minutes. You then spend about 3 hours of your day sitting, 30 minutes sitting at lunch, and another 3 hours of sitting at your desk after work. Then add in another 30 minutes commuting home, 30 minutes for dinner, and 1 hour watching TV at night. If you do the match, that equals 8.5 hours of sitting!
How Can You Sit Less?
If you’re reading this and thinking “wow, that’s me,” don’t panic! The good news is that you can change this. Spend some time today thinking about all of the ways you could sit less. Maybe you can try getting a standing desk at work, go for a walk during your lunch break, or cut out 30 minutes of TV watching a night. No matter what you do, it all adds up!
Want more inspiration to sit less and move more? Contact a membership advisor at Cornerstone Clubs to talk about the many benefits of our classes and services.
Keep your eyes out for Part 2 of The Sitting Series: “Finding Your Feet at Work” – coming soon!