Despite regular exercise, sitting for prolonged periods of time can have a negative impact on your health. According to Maria Cheng, Associated Press, preliminary research “suggests that people who spend most of their days sitting are more likely to be fat, have a heart attack or even die.” A study published last year tracked 17,000 Canadians over a 12 year period and found that those who remained sedentary the most showed a higher risk of dying, independent of how much they did or did not exercise.
Elin Ekblom-Bak of the Swedish School of Sports and Health Sciences suggested that authorities should “rethink how they define physical activity to highlight the dangers of sitting.” She goes on to say that prolonged sitting sends harmful signals telling the genes that regulate the amount of glucose and fat in the body to start to shut down. Health officials have recommended a minimum of physical activity, but they haven’t come up with a sitting limit.
So far, there is not enough evidence to show exactly how much sitting is bad. “It seems the more you get up and interrupt sedentary behavior the better,” says Peter Katzmarzyk of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge. More research is required to see if anything can counteract the threat of sitting too much. It does seem that keeping up an exercise routine is beneficial, but it should be noted that the consequences of sitting too much is much different that not exercising enough.
A U.S. Survey from 2003-2004 found that Americans spend more than half of their time sitting. Tim Armstrong, a physical activity expert at the World Health Organization, said that “people who exercise everyday, but still spend a lot of time sitting might get more benefit doing it through out the day and not in just one bout of time.” In the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, it showed that 95 percent of day spent sitting increases the risk of neck pain.
“Each two-hour increase in daily time spent sitting is associated with a 5-23 percent increase in the risk of type 2 diabetes,” according to the National Post. Studies do show that being sedentary increases your waist size, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Also, metabolic disorders and ovarian cancer were shown to have an increased occurrence in those who sat too much. Woman seem to have more pronounced risks than men.
A good way to get help break the monotonous sitting every day is getting and actually talking to someone instead of sending an email. Perhaps, make the decision to stand up and walk around during a phone conversation. Try to get up at least once an hour and move around to beat the sedentary hazards.