But according to numerous experts and studies, we’re also working ourselves to death. Sitting for long stretches of time can lead to all manner of ailments, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and, of course, obesity. Cardiologist Dr. David Coven says our sedentary lifestyle can be as deadly as one well-known killer. “Smoking certainly is a major cardiovascular risk factor, and sitting can be equivalent in many cases,” he told CBS2 in New York.
If you’re over 60, the effects of sitting too long can be long-reaching, according to a recent study by Northwestern Medicine and reported by sciencedaily.com . Each additional hour sitting (in front of the television, at the computer, etc.) may double their risk of being disabled in the future. Yes, double!
Why? Inflammation, experts say. Also, sitting can lead to the buildup of plaque in the arteries.
The easiest solution is simply to get up–at regular intervals throughout the day.
Dorothy Dunlop, professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and lead author of the study, has the following suggestions:
- Stand up when you talk on the phone or during a work meeting.
- When you go to the grocery store or mall, park in a space farthest away.
- When you get up to have a glass of water, walk around the house or office.
- Walk for short errands instead of taking the car.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator, if you are able.
So let’s keep it movin’!