Sitting Is a Danger to Your Health

Sitting Is a Danger to Your Health

This is an article which I did not choose to write, I was compelled to tell the tale. It describes me, and millions of others. After I was forced to retire in 2008, I decided to spend time on my passion; writing. I have completed three novels, and am working on a fourth. I also write for online newspapers. In other words, I sit all day long, and doctors are now telling us that sitting is dangerous to our health.

As I began to read the article, I thought; ‘this won’t apply to me, I go to the gym four or five days a week.’ When it told me that gym time didn’t cancel out the time I sit all day, I finished the article.

The information that people who are sedentary at work and home pose several debilitating health risks is not new. Sitting for extended periods of time can result in cardiovascular disease, ovarian, breast and colon cancers, as well as type-2 diabetes among others.

However, it was previously believed that exercising for as many as 60 minutes a day would offset the dangers of living a more sedentary life. That is no longer considered a fact.

Although exercise does lessen the chances of contracting serious disease, it does not alleviate the entire problem.

Doctors and scientists suggest that a five-minute stroll around the office each hour;  standing while performing duties at work; standing for the last 15 minutes of a sporting event on television; these and other changes of habit would make a difference in the health of those required to sit most of the day.

How does sitting increase an individual’s chance of ill health?

When sitting for prolonged periods of time, blood flows slowly and increases the body’s chances of contracting high blood pressure and elevated levels of cholesterol. These are two primary factors of heart disease.

The Pancreas produces insulin. Insulin is a hormone which carries glucose to cells in muscle tissue, producing energy. When these cells do not respond to the insulin, the Pancreas receives a signal to produce more of the energy producing hormone. The result can lead to diabetes.

Sitting can cause atrophy in the large muscles. It also causes poor circulation in the lower limbs.

The results of extended periods of time in a sitting position are many relating to the creation of multiple physical ailments, and the necessity to rise out of our chairs frequently is clear.

Those who spend the majority of their time at work on computers now have the option to purchase desks which allow the individual to stand, or even walk on a treadmill as they perform their jobs.

By James Turnage

Sources:

WebMD

The Washington Post

Reuters

Photo courtesy of Moresheth

Flickr License

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