“Sitting is the New Smoking”! Not Really, But...
We may have all heard the quote “sitting is the new smoking”. While this is not really true, the point of the quote is that there is a real cost to our bodies, brought on by the amount of time spent sitting throughout the day.
University of South Australia epidemiologist Dr Terry Boyle was part of a research team to study the effects of sitting and provides 3 reasons why sitting is not the “new smoking”.
According to Dr. Boyle:
“First, the risks of chronic disease and premature death associated with smoking are substantially higher than for sitting.
Second, the economic impact and number of deaths caused by smoking-attributable diseases far outweighs those of sitting.
Finally, unlike smoking, sitting is neither an addiction nor a danger to others.”
University of South Australia. "Sitting is NOT the new smoking, contrary to popular myth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 November 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/
So what does that mean for us? Are we off the hook if we are not moving enough throughout the day or week, and there are no consequences? No! Dr. Boyle also states in the same article:
“People who sit a lot have around a 10-20 per cent increased risk of some cancers and cardiovascular disease”
Regular physical activity (even small amounts) can provide positive health benefits, and plays an important role in maintaining a healthy body weight and promoting good health. The move we move, the more muscles we use and the more calories we burn.
Here are 10 simple ways to add more movement throughout our day:
1. Stay Active
2. Use a standing desk or make time for frequent standing breaks throughout
3. Park further away from destination
4. Stand while talking on the phone
5. Have walking meetings
6. Walk every day after lunch
7. Take the stairs
8. Stretch or perform some light exercises while watching TV
9. Avoid moving walkways at airports
10. Use a fitness tracker
There are numerous health benefits to adding more activity throughout your day (in addition to the 10-20% decrease in health risks mentioned above), and the recommendations are certainly not the only ways to get more active throughout the day, and I would encourage you to find the ones you like, that can be easily integrate into your lifestyles. Stand Up! Get Up! and Move! and watch what happens.