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Researchers Pin the Most Dangerous Types of Sitting

By Sandy Schroeder

I know, we have all been talking about sitting a lot, and we are well aware that we have to keep moving, but the picture may not be as clear cut as we thought.

New research from Columbia University found some types of sitting are more dangerous for your health than others. Columbia University researchers studied 3,500 adults for eight years, reviewing how much time they sat at work and at home. 

Three Key Findings

Take a look at these interesting findings by the researchers.

Sitting at home watching TV was more dangerous - The subjects who watched four or more hours of TV daily had a 50 percent greater risk of heart disease than the ones who watched two hours or less.

Regular exercise countered the TV watching - People who exercised at least 30 minutes five days a week did not have an increased health risk even if they sat and watched TV for four hours.

Sitting at work did not link to heart attack or stroke risk - At work people tend to be up and down throughout the day.

What This Means

Before you abandon all of your extra efforts to keep moving at work and settle in for double movie nights every evening, take a look at the events surrounding the sitting.

Researchers suggested sitting for four hours at a stretch can be dangerous if you work all day, skip exercising, eat a large dinner, plop down for four hours of TV and then head off to bed.

In contrast, people who sit and work all day every day also trot off to meetings, stand around talking, and use the copy machine or printer. As they mix with others, they may be motivated to hit the gym for an hour after work, exercise with friends after lunch, or walk for 30 minutes before dinner.

Decide What This Means to You

If you have lots of favorite programs, do some exercising most days, and stay active at work, you may want to consider how to fine tune the whole procedure to enhance your health and enjoy the whole day. Here are some more tips to make it all work.

  • Keep a canister of water on your desk to make sure you get up and down throughout the day
  • Consider adding a yoga mat, stationary bike or treadmill to your family room to encourage active TV watching
  • Build 30 minutes of physical activity right into your daily schedule wherever it fits most comfortably
  • Add a stand-up counter for discussions at work and consider a pedal device under the desk
  • Keep a weekly diary to see just how your work sitting time goes, making sure you are not glued to a project for eight hours

However it works for you, stay tuned for more future research on the issue.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Saint Peters, Mo.

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