Too Much Sitting is Harming Your Health

 

The benefits of increasing our activity level have been well documented recently through new health studies that tout the benefits of small changes in lifestyle to include more activity throughout the day. Recent findings also suggest that, regardless of activity level, prolonged periods of sitting may increase our health risks. Some of the findings include:

 

  • The risk for diabetes is almost doubled

  • Increased risk of breast and colon cancer

  • Increased time sitting increases fat storage

  • Increased risk for heart disease 

 

The amount of time that study subjects were sitting in these studies varied, but many of the changes in health status could be linked to sitting for periods longer than one hour, or spending more than 4 hours sitting throughout the day.

 

What can we do to combat this problem?

 

At Home:

 

  • Stand up and move around during long commercial breaks to break up long periods of sitting

  • Work at a counter when doing computer work or household activities like paying bills

  • Limit screen time on all devices

 

At Work:

 

  • Walk to a colleague’s desk to discuss a question instead of sending an email

  • Spend some time at a standing work station like a high counter or filing cabinet

  • Hold walking meetings instead of meeting in the conference room

  • Suggest standing for the first 15 minutes of a meeting

 

Preliminary research suggests that smaller, more frequent changes like those suggested may increase health more than longer bouts of exercise regardless of intensity.