by Colleen Posey

Is Sitting the New Smoking?


In this day and age, many professions are commonly desk based; meaning your work tasks are completed while sitting all day working on your computer and phone. With this come risks that many people may not be aware of.  Many professionals say that “sitting is the new smoking” and that sitting for long periods of time has been linked to numerous health concerns. Research by James A Levine M.D, Ph.D. from The Mayo Clinic supports that some of these health concerns include; increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels.  A quite startling fact that I learned while researching this topic from the Mayo Clinic is that spending a few hours a week engaging in physical activity doesn’t necessarily counteract the risk of sitting all day.  According to Doctor Levine, the solution appears “to be less sitting and more moving”. Many offices have adopted the standing desk solution where employees have the option to move their desk space into a standing position. If your job offers the ability to take breaks throughout the day, utilize these time periods to take break walks. Another idea is to set your fitness watch or a timer on your computer to get up and move every hour. This could be as simple as walking a lap around your building or walking up and down a flight of stairs. Taking break walks and time to stand every hour helps in not only getting yourself up and moving, but it also allows time to reset and gain more focus and energy for the rest of the day.

Source of info:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005

Levine, James A M.D., Ph.D.

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