The Truth About How Your Sedentary Lifestyle is Affecting Your Health
The scientific community loves to preach about the importance of exercise, and it’s natural for people to feel a little jaded by all of the reports shouting about the importance of exercise, diet, and all-round healthy living. However, recent research might shock you – sitting down all day could be far worse for your health than you think.
Researchers at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Roughe, Louisiana, have found that sitting for more than three hours per day cuts two years off your life expectancy. If you sit around at work, then come home and watch two or more hours of TV per day, you could see another year cut off your life.
Don’t assume that exercising can offset the problems caused by sitting, either. The study found that moderate exercise didn’t make much difference. Dr Katzmarzyk explained “It’s not just about getting physical activity in your life. Just because you’re doing 30 minutes of physical activity – what about the other 23.5 hours? Don’t just sit the rest of the day”.
So, healthy living is more demanding than some people would like to think. This study isn’t the first one to claim that sitting is bad for you – there’s plenty of other studies to back that up. What’s interesting about this study is that it emphasises the need for a general lifestyle change.
Get Out of That Chair
If you work in an office, then opportunities to get out and about during the day might be limited, but that doesn’t mean that you have to content yourself with being chained to a desk all day.
Instead of calling people on the phone or sending them an email, why not get up and walk across to their office? Pack easy to eat food, and go for a walk outside at lunch time, rather than heading from your desk (where you sit and work) to a canteen (where you sit and eat).
If you’re on a long phone call, use a headset and walk around while you’re talking. If you’re reading a document on your tablet PC, stand up and stretch your legs out a bit. You don’t have to be sitting to work.
Health is A Lifestyle Choice
A couple of generations ago, it was difficult to live a really unhealthy life. People had to walk further, do more labour intensive chores, and had more labour intensive jobs. In addition, fresh food was more common, and ready meals and junk food were harder to come by. This meant that by default, people were generally living a healthier lifestyle. There are exceptions of course; there was a time when cigarettes were promoted as a way to soothe sore throats, but in general, exercise and sensible eating were more prevalent.
Today, healthy living is something that you need to be proactive about. Calorie-dense food is abundant, and opportunities for exercise are harder to come by. This means you have to work harder to stay fit. So, next time a study urges you to get out of your chair, don’t roll your eyes – get up and do something!