Sitting - The ‘New’ Smoking

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?  That something as seemingly innocuous as sitting could be as bad for you as smoking?  Can that really be the case??  Approximately five years ago I began seeing research conclusively point to the fact that men, women and children in the U.S. just aren’t moving enough.  In fact, our lack of movement is now accorded with the dubious honor of being responsible for most serious and fatal diseases.  Following closely on the heals of that information was the fact that if we don’t get up and MOVE at least every 3 hours, we are most decidedly at risk for kidney disease!  Wow!! 

The ‘why’ is fairly easy to figure out. As we become an increasingly more technological society we are missing out on basic movements that previous generations had.  How many of you, as you read this, can resonate with the fact that you likely commute at least an hour, sit 8-10 hours at work, come home and sit in front of the TV, laptop or ipad for 1-2 hours every night?  And what happens while you are doing all this sitting?

One: you are only burning about 60 calories an hour.
Two: All sorts of processed foods and drinks are being consumed. 
Three:  You’ve just increased the odds that you’ll become overweight or obese; have diabetes &/or heart disease; open the doorway for any number of diseases to strike; and likely deduct 15 years from your lifespan.

Major health problems that can be prevented with regular physical activity and exercise:

Coronary heart disease





Gallbladder Disease

Congestive Heart Failure

Type 2 Diabetes


Accelerated Biological Aging/Premature Death


Rheumatoid Arthritis

Metabolic Syndrome




Colon Cancer

Cognitive Dysfunction

Breast Cancer

Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Endometrial Cancer

 The medical profession as a whole is fairly desperate to get people moving, as our disease and obesity rate climbs steadily, year by year. More than 1/3 (34.9%) of adults are obese. By the year 2020 projections show that half of all Americans will have either pre-diabetes or diabetes ~ truly alarming as both can easily be prevented with diet and exercise. The ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) has now decreed that if 30 minutes of subsequent activity (walking) a day isn’t do able, break it into three 10 minute chunks, throughout the day.  Once you have accomplished that work towards being active six days each week. 

Starting an exercise program can be rather daunting, especially if you aren’t comfortable with your weight, how you might look in exercise clothes, and possibly you have absolutely NO idea where to start?  Seriously, it can be as easy as going for a short walk every day.  Start with 20 minutes and work up from there.  Chances are that you’ll begin to feel SO good from a daily walking program that you might decide to do more walking!  Or possibly it could lead you into beginning a sport/activity you’ve always wanted to try. ~ Salsa dancing anyone?? Good luck, and keep me posted ☺


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