Are You Sitting Down Right Now? Many of Us Are
By Sandy Schroeder
Many of us keep our jobs going by sitting for long periods. Then we sit some more as we drive, lounge on the couch, or sit down for dinner. Do you know how many hours you sit each day?
If you can understand the issue, you should be aware of the things that happen to your body when you sit so much. Harvard Health scientists tell us the large muscles relax and take very little sugar from the blood, which raises the risk of type 2 diabetes. Also, our enzymes break down blood fats reducing our good cholesterol and increasing our risk of heart disease.
At the same time, we miss the opportunity to move more and tone our bodies and refresh our spirits.
What Can Happen
Doctors are now advising us to "sit in moderation," and prescribing exercise as a critical choice. Researchers support the need for exercise with studies of middle-aged adults such as the 14-year study of 123,000 conducted by the American Cancer Society.
They found the women who sat the most had a 34 percent greater risk of dying from any cause compared to the women who sat the least. For men, the increased risk was 17 percent.
When exercise was introduced into the study the women who did not move much or exercise were nearly twice as likely to die during the study. The least active men were 50 percent more likely to die during the study than their active counterparts. Other studies show the same contrasts with routine daily efforts and exercise helping to lower the risk for obesity, diabetes, cancer or heart disease.
What's the Solution?
Mayo Clinic doctors remind us of how much we can counteract the sitting with ordinary activities.
- Toting the laundry or groceries
- Trimming the bushes
- Taking care of toddlers
- Cleaning floors, counters and baths
Keep Going With 5-, 10-, 30-Minute Exercise
Pick some activities that you and your family enjoy and make them part of your day. Choose the most comfortable time and get everybody involved.
- Clear the floor and dance
- Bike around the block
- Walk to the park
- Shoot hoops or practice soccer
- Swim whenever you can
- Try yoga or tai chi classes online
- Use a treadmill or stationary bike in the evening
- Start the day with stretches or strength exercises
- Break out the jump ropes or do jumping jacks
- Use weekends to camp, hike, or fish
Everybody is different. You may have thought of other ways to stay active that work for you and your family. Whatever you do to move more will boost your health and lower your risk for serious diseases. Keep looking for new ways to exercise.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Goodyear, Ariz.