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Sitting Too Much Raises Serious Health Risks

By Sandy Schroeder

Many of us sit too much every day as we work on computer screens, drive, or sit at a desk, counter, or other work table. We all need to know the health risks and find ways to counteract excess sitting. 

Real Health Concerns 

Mayo Clinic tells us sitting too much can create these serious symptoms. 

  • Obesity 
  • Increased blood pressure 
  • High blood sugar 
  • Excess fat around waist 
  • Abnormal cholesterol levels 

Too much sitting can also lead to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and loss of mobility. When you sit too much you may wind up with tight hips and lower back issues that can eventually impact your ability to walk. 

So Where Does That Leave You? 

Mayo Clinic researchers say there are mixed results on what can happen. Here is a breakout of various impacts. 

Mayo researchers analyzed 13 different studies of sitting time and activity levels of people who sat more than eight hours daily with no physical activity. Their research encompassed more than a million people. Here is what they found. 

  • Too much sitting can raise risks similar to that of obese people or those who smoke 
  • Moderate intense activity of 60 to 75 minutes may counter excess sitting 
  • Sitting time had little to do with mortality for people who were most active 

Other studies have differed from the Mayo Clinic analyses and more research is needed, but you might take these steps to counteract sitting. 

Take a break from sitting every 30 minutes - Stretch, step outside, walk around for 5 to 10 minutes.

Stand as much as possible - Stand while on the phone, watching television, or thinking about projects.

Do walking meetings with co-workers - Get outside or just walk around the office to discuss matters.

Use a standing/sitting work arrangement - Get an adjustable platform or use a high counter to stand while  you work.

Include a treadmill - Position your work station above a treadmill to stay in motion while you work.

Make leisure time active at home - Move the couch away from the TV and bring in a stationary bike or a treadmill and add a yoga mat to the family room.

Activate weekends - Make time for camping, biking, hiking or walking.

Extend your sports time - Head for the basketball or tennis courts, get out on the green or hit the water for kayaking, boating, or fishing.

Whatever you do, don't ignore the sitting issue. Stay aware and keep moving. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in San Jose, Calif.

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