There have been a number of studies recently that highlight the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle upon one's health. Sitting is described as the new smoking. The harm associated with prolonged sitting is so significant that it has been compared to the impact of man's most well known carcinogen, smoking. It seems smoking has become the new standard of risk- another recent study suggested that consumption of smoked meat is also the new smoking. I am not going to address the impact of bacon in this short article, but I would like to discuss the tremendous harm related to the amount of time spent sitting by the average person today. Most people don't realize just how many hours they spend sitting in their regular day. With time at work, driving, watching television and spending time on a home computer - the hours add up, and so does the impact to our posture and our health.
In his book, "Stand Taller, Live Longer", Dr. Steven Weiniger describes what he calls "sitting disease". Our postural muscles have gotten weaker as we spend vast amounts of time in chairs. A study, outlined in the Annals of Internal Medicine in January 2016, demonstrates that those who sit 8-12 hours a day have a 91% higher incidence of type 2 diabetes! You see, prolonged sitting leads to compression of our internal organs which can then lead to problems such as heart disease, and ultimately to higher mortality rates.
In a number of studies, greater sedentary time was found to be associated with increased risk of mortality, cardiovascular disease, cancer incidence and type II diabetes. One particular study found that those who spent less than eight hours sitting time per day had a 14 percent lower risk of potentially preventable hospitalization.
What can we do to fight the deleterious effects of sitting on our health? There are a number of solutions to address the health challenges of our deteriorating posture, but they require active work on our part. In studies, sedentary time was associated with a 30 percent lower relative risk for all-cause mortality among those with higher levels of physical activity compared with those with lower levels of physical activity. This means that the negative outcomes associated with sedentary time generally decreased in magnitude among persons who participated in higher physical activity compared to lower levels. So we must be active to reduce impact of sitting on our health.
If you are not actively working to improve your posture, it is deteriorating! Your posture will affect your health, your alertness and productivity, and your appearance! Stay tuned for upcoming articles on "Creating Your Own Standing Work Station" and "Text Neck Syndrome Prevention", and sign up NOW for our free Posture Workshop on June 1 and learn about how you CAN improve your posture, at any age, and enjoy tremendous health benefits as a result!