Sitting is the way of life in America. Most of us sit at desks for 7 of the 8 hours at work, with occasional treks to and from meeting rooms where you sit some more. Now countless studies are concluding that the more we sit the more our health declines.
In a recent study published in The British Journal of Sports Medicine, research suggested that the more sedentary a person was after the age of 25 the higher the risk a person has of developing fatal diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
To put it plainly: Every single hour of television watched after the age of 25 reduces the viewer’s life expectancy by 21.8 minutes.
By comparison, smoking a single cigarette reduces life expectancy by about 11 minutes, the authors said.
But we all had an idea that sedentary lifestyles were harmful to our health, but what new studies are pointing out is that fairly active people “might have a similar mortality risk as someone who does not exercise and watches no TV.”
It just not watching television that causes problems. As mentioned before, sitting at desks for long periods of time pose as much of a problem as watching a six-hour Martin marathon on TVOne. It seems as if just working is occupational hazard in itself.
There are many theories about why we can’t sit for long hours, but researchers are still trying nail down one explanation that would suffice to explain such a natural action.
“The most striking feature of prolonged sitting is the absence of skeletal muscle contractions, particularly in the very large muscles of the lower limbs,” says David W. Dunstan, a professor at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Australia, senior author of the Australian study, and a pioneer in the study of sedentary behavior.
A few ways to combat this problem would be stand more often at work or cut down your sugar consumption throughout workday, reserving your daily carb intake for pre and post workout meals.
This is a problem needs to more research to confirm the finding of the research, but in the meantime, check out what some companies and inventors are doing to help mitigate the increasing evidence that sitting is than eating a tub Twinkies.