It’s pretty clear that I love my new job. I love almost everything about. The one thing I don’t love? Sitting for 7 hours a day.
Oh, and guess what? They say sitting will kill you.
Via: Medical Billing And Coding, Via Daily Infographic
Sitting Is Killing You: The Truth About Sitting Down
Whether tending our crops or hunting wild boar, most of our lives as humans were lived on our feet. But with the advent of TV, computers, and the desk job, we’re sitting down more than ever in history: 9.3 hours a day, even more time than we spend sleeping (7.7 hours). Our bodies weren’t built for that, and it’s starting to take it’s toll. You might want to stand up for this.
Sitting increases risk of death up to 40%.
Sitting 6+ hours per day makes you up to 40% likelier to die within 15 years than someone who sits less than 3. Even if you exercise.
Average Physical Activity (Waking Hours):
- Sedentary: 9.3 hours/day
- Low-Intensity Physical Activity: 6.5 hours/day
- Medium-Vigorous Physical Activity: .7 hours/day
Studies show that only reducing sitting time helps. It’s clear that sitting is killing us: but how?
Sitting makes us fat.
Obeses people sit for 2.5 more hours per day than thin people.
1 in 3 Americans is obese.
Between 1980 and 2000:
- Exercise rates stayed the same
- Sitting time increased 8%
- Obesity doubled
Sitting expenses almost no energy.
Effects of sitting aren’t just long term, though. Your body goes into meltdown the moment you sit down.
How sitting wrecks your body.
As soon as you sit:
- Electrical activity in the leg muscles shuts off
- Calorie burning drops to 1 per minute
- Enzymes that help break down fat drop 90%
After 2 hours:
- Good cholesterol drops 20%
After 24 hours:
- Insulin effectiveness drops 24% and risk of diabetes rises
How to get out of your chair alive.
For many of us, sitting for 8 hours a day at our job is inevitable. But it’s the extra sitting outside of work that turns a serious problem deadly.
The recommended 30 minutes of activity per day is not enough. Interrupt sitting whenever you can:
- walking/marching in place
- jumping jacks
Walking burned 3-5 times the calories that sitting does. Take every opportunity to walk around the office.
Get off the couch.
Those who sit 3 hours or more per day watching TV are 64% more likely to die from heart disease.
Of those who sit in front of the TV 3 hours per day, those who exercise are just as fat as those who don’t.
Each extra hour of watching TV = 11% higher death risk.
Take the extra step.
Sittting time adds up, whether it’s at the desk or in the car. Walk, ride your bike, and take the stairs instead of the elevator. Also, interrupt sitting time whenever you can.
Sitting at 135 degree angle puts less strain on your back than hunching forward or even sitting straight.
The human body isn’t built to sit for long periods of time. A hundred years ago, when we were all toiling in the fields and factories, obesity was basically nonexistent. But since we can’t exactly run free in the fields tip the end of our days, we have to help our bodies in other ways. We have to stand up for our right to stand up.
It’s a big discussion lately. The New York Times covered the topic last month. It’s pretty common knowledge these days that being sedentary is bad for you.
Before starting my job I hadn’t realized how much I moved around during the day. Before, even if I was working on websites or applying for jobs I would work a while then stop, stand up, walk around the house, walk somewhere, or strap on a bike helmet and go for a bike ride. My days were much more active than they will be now. I have to sit for longer periods so I can work and honestly it’s bothered me a few times already.
After sitting for a couple hours my legs start to hurt and I long to get up and move around. I think that’s part of the reason why I like to get water refills and head to the bathroom every hour or so – it gives my body a break! One day last week I even started pacing while I was reading. I could tell it’s not typical for my office but I seriously needed it. I don’t really have the option to keep doing this so I need to get used to sitting or try to find a way to incorporate a stand up desk.
I love my job but I will admit that I miss being more active during the day. And it worries me to think that sitting so much does even more damage to my body. I guess I’ll just have to make up for it by being more active during the rest of my time each day and during the weekends. Works for me!
Do you sit a lot every day? How many hours do you sit? Do you like to take frequent breaks?