Sitting Disease … Is That Really A Thing?

Sitting disease. You probably are thinking that sounds ridiculous, but it is a very real and very dangerous disease. And even if you run an hour a day and hit the gym after work you could still be at risk.

What does the term sitting disease mean? Simply put, there is growing evidence that a whole myriad of illnesses and diseases can be caused by prolonged, uninterrupted periods of sitting. And sitting at a busy desk is the same as sitting on a comfy couch. Also, the risk is not altered by other factors such as BMI and general fitness. It really is an equal opportunity disease – affecting both the physically fit and overweight alike.

The focus of research is honing in on how the lack of muscle contractions over extended periods affect the many systems of the body. Some important biochemical reactions within your body depend on active periods interspersed throughout the day, including how your body breaks down blood sugar and cholesterol.

What are you risking by sitting? The list is a long one and includes:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Insulin Resistance Heart Attack
  • Stroke
  • Fatty liver disease (nonalcoholic type)
  • High Blood Pressure Breast Cancer
  • Colon Cancer
  • Depression and Anxiety

So, that is the bad news. What’s the good news? Setting your alarm, getting up from your desk, and engaging is some sort of light activity, for at least 2 minutes per hour will reduce your risk of premature death. Other experts believe that for every 20 minutes spent sitting you should stand for 8 minutes and move for 2 minutes. Of course, this doesn’t replace the 30 minutes of vigorous exercise recommended daily.

Does that seem unrealistic? The more conveniences we have acquired the more we have plummeted into a state of being unhealthy. So try these few suggestions: walk to a colleague’s desk instead of sending an email, stand or walk around your office while on the phone, take the stairs instead of the elevator, park your car at the back of the lot, even spreading your housework out throughout the day in smaller “batches” will help break up longer periods of inactivity. And speaking of conveniences, there is an app for that! Check out the app store and see that there are several well reviewed apps that remind you when to break up your day with a little bit of exercise. The doctors at Vanguard Gastro want you to live the most healthy life you can!

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