Isn’t that shocking? Studies show that prolonged sitting is devastating to your health. It actively promotes dozens of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and obesity. This can affect you, even if you are very fit and research shows that vigorous exercise cannot counteract the adverse effects of this prolonged sitting.
SO, WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
Studies looking at agriculture environments show that people in agrarian villages sit for about three hous a day and THAT should be the norm. However the average American office worker can sit for 13 to 15 hours a day and unfornately that is the case for most of the people working in the tertiary industry.
Sitting down for too long and too often turns out to be an independant risk factor for poor health and early demise, causing blood sugar levels, blood pressure, cholesterol and toxic build-up, all rise.
UNDERSTANDING THE ISSUE
In short, at the molecular level, the human body was designed to be active and on the move all day long. Stop moving for extended periods of time, and it’s like telling your body it’s time to shut down and prepare for death.
As noted by Dr Levine, who has dedicated part of his career to investigate the health effects of sitting, while we clearly need to rest from time to time, that rest is supposed to break up activity – not the other way around. Inactivity – sitting – is NOT supposed to be a way of life.
“[T]his very unnatural [sitting] posture is not only bad for your back, your wrists, your arms, and your metabolism, but it actually switches off the fundamental fueling systems that integrate what’s going on in the bloodstream with what goes on in the muscles tissues.”
– Dr Levine –
A SIMPLE SOLUTION
Fortunately, the remedy is simple and doesn’t involve a prescription: avoid sitting and get movement in your life!
Dr Levine explains that within 90 seconds of standing up, the muscular and cellular systems that process blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol – which are mediated by insulin – are activated.
Surprising as it sounds, all of these molecular effects are activated simply by carrying your bodyweight upon your legs! They are responsible for pushing fuels into your cells and if done regularly, will radically decrease your risk of diabetes and obesity.
We should all strive to sit less than 3 hours per day, but of course that’s easier said than done, especially in our modern lifestyle. Since most of us live lives that revolve around an office chair, a car seat, and the couch, most will need to figure out how to eliminate many hours of sitting every day. As a general starting guideline, Dr Levine suggests standing up for AT LEAST 10 minutes each hour.
If you’ve been sitting down for a full hour, you’ve sat too long!
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