Are you sitting right now? How long has it been since you took a seat? Do you spend much of your day sitting at a computer or seated at your job? Have you traded the active lifestyle of your youth for an inactive lifestyle and a desk job?
Would you believe a sedentary lifestyle is as deadly to your health as obesity? That’s the conclusion of a huge study that tracked the life expectancies of millions of people across multiple countries. The study revealed that people who sat for more than three hours a day had a life expectancy of two years less than people who spent less than three hours sitting each day.
Similar studies have suggested six hours of sitting a day could increase your risk of death by an astounding 20% over people who sit for less than three hours a day.
What Health Complications Await Sedentary People?
The National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD) describes a frightening array of health problems that may result from an inactive lifestyle. Some of those health complications may include insulin resistance and the development of type 2 diabetes, cognitive decline, heart attack, and stroke.
Is it surprising that those deadly complications look so incredibly similar to the problems caused by obesity?
Technology has fueled amazing advances in medicine, entertainment, and the human experience, but it’s also influenced dramatic change in the behavior and health of the average American. We’re literally sitting ourselves to death.
Exercising Once a Day Won’t Cut It
Most medical guidelines suggest we get about a half an hour of vigorous exercise at least five days a week. These guidelines might mean a few brisk walks, some time spent playing basketball, or spinning classes at the gym.
However, these brief activities can’t compensate when you spend the rest of the day sitting. A study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise reveals a sedentary lifestyle carries deadly health risks, even if you reach the recommended level of exercise each week.
Does a Desk Job Require a Sedentary Lifestyle?
If your job requires that you sit at your desk for eight hours a day, you might feel it’s impossible to avoid the deadly complications of sedentary behavior. However, you don’t need to panic yet. Try implementing a few of these habits if your most constant companion is your desk chair:
- Use a headset and get up from your desk whenever you use the phone.
- Try a standing desk or a desk with a self-propelled treadmill under your feet.
- Set a timer and spend five minutes of each thirty on your feet. Try jumping rope!