New Study Reveals Skyrocketing Death Rates from “Sitting”
How Your TV & PC Are Dramatically Increasing Your Risk of Death…
7 Ways to Live Potentially Decades Longer and
Healthier, Adding Years to Your Life!
By now, you and your loved ones are likely well aware of some sedentary lifestyle risks. Too much time spent lying on the couch can greatly increase your risk of weight gain, obesity and all of its related diseases ranging from heart disease to type 2 diabetes.
For thousands of years men, women and children had to plant, hunt and forage for food for their survival. Prior to the 1900s only the kings, queens and elite were overweight or had obesity issues as evidenced by old master’s paintings.
Today the comforts of our lifestyles are causing serious health problems as they also unknowingly did for many of the elite in past centuries.
The human body requires active lifestyle movement and water to flush out toxins, to stay strong and for ridding itself of illnesses to sustain and survive.
What has changed? Technology has dramatically changed our lives … some for the better. But for all the advances, technology is reducing our quality of health as life expectancies are now on the decline.
People who sit and watch TV for more than four hours a day are 80 percent more likely to die much sooner from heart disease than those who limit their TV watching to two hours or less.
Numerous studies show rates of heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and obesity are doubled and even tripled in people who sit for several hours every day.
Sitting stops the circulation of lipase, an enzyme that absorbs fats. So instead of being absorbed by your muscles, when you’re sitting fat recirculates in your bloodstream where it may end up stored as body fat, clogging arteries or contributing to disease.
John Dearlove (CEO of Health Realizations) in 2005 titled the disease causing behavior “Sittosis”.
Most of you probably expect to hear that if you spend a lot of time doing sedentary behaviors, such as watching TV, playing video games, and sitting in front of a computer, it’s not a good thing for your health.
But here is a fact that will most likely surprise you … and may even shock you …
Sedentary behavior is not only a risk for those couch potatoes who do little else than sit all day; it’s also a risk for you and those who regularly exercise!
The risk comes in, it seems, in proportion to how long you spend sitting … even if you spend other time working out on a treadmill, dancing, playing sports and being active.
Have You Experienced or Heard These Common Sitting Complaints?
We’ve received these online or heard these from our own friends and loved ones when they spend too long sitting. Have you?
- I have this odd “sitting nerve pain”.
- Intense “shoulder problems from sitting at desk”!
- I have “upper leg pain when sitting or lying down”.
- I get a “painful hip worse when sitting”!
- “Why do my feet hurt to stand on after I have been sitting”?
- Incredible “leg pain when sitting or lying”!
- Today I had a “chest muscle sharp pain sitting at desk”!
- Is it normal that my “knee hurts when sitting”?
- My “knee hurts after sitting for a while”.
- I get this “thigh pain when sitting”.
- Sharp “pelvic pain when sitting down”!
- Ever had a “pain groin one side sitting”?
- How do I get rid of “urethral pain when sitting”?
- I’ve gotten “health problems sitting around”.
- “Why do my hips hurt after sitting for a while”?
- “Does sitting at computer all day cause injury to neck”?
- I got this immense “lower back pain while sitting”!
- My “back hurts when sitting ok when standing”.
Watching TV Increases Your Risk of Death
This may sound like an exaggeration, but it’s exactly what a new study by Australian researchers found. They followed 8,800 people for an average of six years and found that those who watched TV for more than 4 hours a day were 46 percent more likely to die of any cause during the study period and 80 percent more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than those who spent less than 2 hours a day watching TV.
This is concerning as ratings firm Nielsen Co. reported that Americans watched an average of more than 5 hours of TV a day in just three months!
What is Your “Sittosis” Daily Health Quotient?
|How many hours a day do you watch TV?||__ Hours Per Day|
|Now add number of hours on computer:||__ Hours Per Day|
|Plus the number of hours you spend driving:||__ Hours Per Day|
|Total hours per day you’re sitting:||__ Hours Per Day|
But the solution, again, is not to figure out how to get more vigorous exercise into your schedule (not that that would be a bad idea), it’s to figure out how to sit less.
“It’s not the sweaty type of exercise we’re losing,” says David Dunstan, a researcher at Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, who led the study, in the Wall Street Journal. “It’s the incidental moving around, walking around, standing up and utilizing muscles that
Of course, you’re not only sitting while you watch TV. You also sit during your commute to work, at your desk, in front of the computer, while talking on the phone, and countless other times you sit throughout the day.
Even most entertainment has become sitting in movie theaters vs. activity based entertainment like shooting hoops, racquetball or tennis, taking walks plus even sexual activities with a partner for lengthily periods of time are much healthier than sitting back on the sofa.
Why is Sitting Dangerous?
Study Shows New Disease-Causing Behavior, which John Dearlove (renowned behavioral expert, former CEO of Mercola.com and CEO of Health Realization) titled in 2005: “Sittosis”
“Sittosis” Lack of movement while ”sitting” stops the circulation of lipase, an enzyme that absorbs fats. This means fat recirculates in your bloodstream where it may end up clogging arteries or contributing to disease.
For years health officials have urged us to make sure we get in our 30-60 minutes of exercise daily, but in any given day adults have about 15.5 “non-exercise” waking hours. For many adults, the greatest portion of this time is spent sitting.
Sitting is, obviously, not inherently dangerous at all, and your body is meant to sit … sometimes. The problem is that in our new modern age, many people spend way too much time in this sedentary position, and this is far from natural.
Your body is meant to move around, stand and stretch on a regular basis.
So it’s not surprising that numerous studies show rates of heart disease, diabetes and obesity are doubled and even tripled in people who sit for several hours every day. Part of the problem is sitting stops the circulation of lipase, an enzyme that absorbs fats. So instead of being absorbed by your muscles, when you’re sitting fat recirculates in your bloodstream where it may end up stored as body fat, clogging arteries or contributing to disease.
In fact, simply standing up as opposed to sitting engages muscles and helps your body process fat and cholesterol in a positive way, regardless of the amount of exercise you do.
- A recent study found sitting time was a predictor of weight gain in Australian women, even after adjustments were made for diet and exercise.
- Observational studies have showed that not only is total sedentary time important for blood glucose control but also that a larger number of breaks in sedentary time are associated with more favorable metabolic profiles, according to an editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
And like the TV-watching study referenced above, a study published in the Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise linked sitting time with a greater risk of death in more than 17,000 Canadians.
Even after accounting for physical activity levels outside of work, body mass index, age, sex, drinking alcohol and smoking, the mortality risk was 1.54 times higher among those who spent almost all of the day sitting compared with those who spent almost no time sitting.
Now, in addition to encouraging regular vigorous exercise, researchers are suggesting physicians should discourage sitting for extended periods as well.
How Much “Screen Time” is Too Much?
American adults spend an average of more than 8 hours each day in front of screens, including televisions, computer monitors, cell phones and others, according to the Video Consumer Mapping study.
The study, conducted by Ball State University’s Center for Media Design (CMD) and Sequent Partners for the Nielsen-funded Council for Research Excellence (CRE), found:
- The screen that gets the most viewing time is the television, at more than five hours a day for the average American
- People between the ages of 45 and 54 spent the most time in front of screens — over 9.5 hours a day
- Adults spend an average 142 minutes a day in front of computer screens
- Adults spend an average 20 minutes a day engaged with mobile devices
What we also know is that the generations 25 years of age and younger are spending even more time sitting “texting” and playing video games. Per Kaiser Family Foundation Study, the average young person age 8 to 18 years old spends nearly every waking hour outside of school where (they are also mostly sitting) using a smart phone, texting, watching TV, sitting in front of a computer or other electronic device spending 7.5 hours or more hours a day listening to some form of media.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation Study, this is up over one additional hour from five years ago. For the coming M2 generation everything is up except reading and watching movies in a theater.
Since negative effects have been measured among TV watching for more than four hours a day, and a study in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders found those who had high daily levels of sitting (7.4 hours or more) were significantly more likely to be overweight or obese than those who reported low daily sitting levels (less than 4.7 hours a day), it seems that sitting less than four to five hours a day may be a prudent goal.
Of course, the jury is still out on exactly how much sitting is too much, but logic, coupled with the latest research, seems to suggest that the more you get up off your tush, the longer and healthier your life may be!
Get Moving, and Stop Sitting, Make Time to Stretch Throughout Your Day
At the start of each day find a way to make time and establish a fast, easy, daily healthy stretch and or exercise routine at home and at work.
Select movements you can do throughout your day to keep moving, and stop sitting … try them at your office too or pop in a DVD instead of watching television.
Tips to Get Up Off Your Tush!
Sitting less is a different type of goal than trying to fit in an hour to go to the gym; it involves learning new habits that you incorporate into most activities throughout your day.
So rather than sitting behind your desk all day at work, get up and walk around as much as possible (while you’re on the phone, or mulling over a problem, for instance). While you’re at home, look for opportunities to stand instead of sit, such as while helping your child with her homework or watching your kids play at the park.
Top “7 Daily To-Dos” to keep your blood flowing, your heart rate going.
Create reasons to get up off your tush several times every hour throughout the day.
In Your Office Activities:
- Schedule 5 minutes every hour to stand up and stretch or exercise
- Force yourself to get up to do hourly tasks.
- Place your printer, office supplies, files, etc. in areas you have to get up and walk to.
- Take the stairs as often as possible (vs escalators or elevators)
- If home office, find reasons to take walks or walk up and down the stairs at least once every hour.
Most IMPORTANTLY At Your Home:
- Every morning when you first awake make a routine of stretching for 10 to 15 minutes. Once you get into a routine it will quickly become a good habit!
- Every evening set a time for a 30-minute focused exercise routine.
This doesn’t have to require expensive health club memberships.
Remember, making an effort to sit less is one of the simpler ways to perhaps drastically improve your health.
Researchers believe that as the health risks of prolonged sitting become more widely known, health campaigns will begin that advertise limiting your sitting time, just as they recommend limiting your exposure to secondhand smoke.
If you start now, you’ll be ahead of the game and reaping the benefits of less sitting in no time!
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
British Journal of Sports Medicine 43:81-83
The Kaiser Family Foundation: Generation M2