When do we sit? At meals, driving, at most jobs, during meetings, watching TV, at church, at school, visiting, at sports events, while on the computer, while reading, even while exercising on recumbent bikes, rowing machines, etc.
Technology has increased our “opportunities” to sit: drive-thru restaurants, drive thru-ATMs, drive-thru pharmacies, and drive-thru car washes, remotes to change TV channels and turn off lights, and the internet for shopping. On average, adults in the USA spend eight to ten hours each day sitting and being inactive.
Some of the consequences of all this sitting and inactivity are: overweight and obesity (makes your bottom bigger), type 2 diabetes, fatigue and lower energy levels, loss of calcium from bones, osteoarthritis, bursitis, osteoporosis, COPD, high blood pressure, thyroid and endocrine dysfunction, shrinkage of vertebral disks, deterioration of joint cartilage, loss of flexibility in arteries and veins, reduced heart function, musculoskeletal problems, and more.
Unfortunately, frequent sitters have greater health risks regardless of the amount of exercise they do. Below are results from just a couple of studies. Sitting seems to have an immediate effect on how our bodies metabolize glucose. People who sit after eating have 24% higher glucose levels than people who walk very slowly after a meal.” (Dr. Emma G. Wilmot from University of Leicester, UK. November 2012 issue of Diabetologia.) In a 2011 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology, people who spent a decade or more doing sedentary work were almost twice as likely to develop distal colon cancer.
The easiest answer is to frequently get up and walk about. A more expensive option is to get a stand up desk or treadmill desk. To correct the musculoskeletal problems from sitting a certified personal trainer can help you identify these imbalances and give you exercises to help correct then. For more information about how to get off the couch, call or email Janet Hunt, ACE certified personal trainer.
By: Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.