Sitting is the New smoking

Sitting is the New smoking

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Sitting is the new smoking

There is mounting evidence that sitting uninterrupted for long periods of time is an independent health risk

Welcome to the age of couch potatoes! Thanks to technology and thanks to us sitting in swanky air-conditioned offices, we are increasingly becoming less and less active. While some of us may huff and puff our way through a morning or evening jog, or do a strenuous workout at the gym, calm ourselves with a one-hour yoga workout or dance the Zumba, once we settle down to work – which is a minimum of eight hours and could go well beyond that – we stay glued to our chairs.

Today, the media is buzzing with the new mantra – that sitting is the next smoking. Yes, sitting continuously for long periods of time is harmful to your health. Here’s why:

  • Sitting for long, uninterrupted periods of time is harmful to health. It doubles the risk of diabetes and heart disease and also ups the risk for premature death.
  • Even if you exercise regularly, continuous sitting is harmful to health. According to a lead researcher Thomas Yates, MD: “Even for people who are otherwise active, sitting for long stretches seems to be an independent risk factor for conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease.”
  • shutterstock_314882495Did you know that even the World Health Organization (WHO) has listed inactivity as the fourth major killer of adults; it is apparently responsible for 9% of premature deaths1.
  • Joan Vernikos, former director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division (one of the main doctors assigned to keep the astronauts from becoming weak in space) and author of ‘Sitting Kills, Moving Heals’ has done research on this subject. The research reveals that your body actually needs to continuously interact with gravity through movement so that it functions at its best.
  • Her research has revealed that uninterrupted sitting imitates a microgravity situation, which results in hastening the aging process.
  • Sedentary lifestyles are being connected to higher levels of ‘white fat’—a kind of fat that is less metabolically active than ‘brown fat’. Brown fat generates heat and burns energy instead of storing it. A recent study reveals that exercise helps change white fat into healthier brown fat.

Remember to never sit still for long periods of time. It affects your metabolic rate and leaves you open to a host of diseases. Make sure to keep moving all through the day, even if it is for five to ten minutes every hour. A little extra movement can help, so keep moving and ward off death by sitting!

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Dogs, books, music…that’s what makes life tick for me. And of course, writing. I’ve been writing for 17 years now and have enjoyed every bit of it. My idea of a great time – blast some music, cuddle my pets and gorge on pizza. Or curl up in a cozy corner with a good book. That’s bliss. And now, I’ve discovered a new bliss – yoga. Maybe, I’ll turn spiritual some day with a halo around my head! On a more serious note, I’m actively involved in animal welfare and saving abandoned dogs. I firmly believe dogs are much better than most human beings. In addition, I champion the cause of making our planet a better place. And do my bit in whatever way I can, and urge everyone to do the same.