You may have heard the statement “sitting is the new smoking!”
When I first heard this saying, I thought it was crazy.
Sitting is not like smoking.
- But recently, I looked more into it, and it completely changed my outlook on one aspect of health that most people neglect.
- Here's the problem: we sit an average of 9 to 10 hours a day. So we sit more than we sleep. We sit more than we stand or do any activity.
- We sit in our cars. We sit to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We sit to work. We sit to watch tv. We sit at the movie theater. We sit at the dentist’s office. We sit everywhere.
What’s the problem with so much sitting?
- You’ll be surprised to hear that it’s not really “back pain” or any such thing (although, that can happen too!).
- The problem with so much sitting is that our bodies were not meant for it.
- For millions of year, we were in constant movement for 10-12 hours a day.
- Switch that to sitting for 10 hours, and there’s no amount of exercise you can do that can undo the damage.
- Even if, after your day at the office, you went to the gym for two hours, it wouldn’t negate the damage done by sitting.
- That’s what led Dr. James levine to coin the phrase “sitting is the new smoking!”
- When you stand, your body works very differently than when you sit.
- Sitting for hours a day causes the following damage.
- Because blood flow slows down, you increase your risk of heart disease.
- Your insulin is negatively affected by just one day of sitting 10 hours a day.
- Sitting increases your risk of cancer, for reasons we’re still speculating about.
- Perhaps it’s the antioxidant processes that are engaged when we are in movement.
- Sitting compresses your body, slowing down digesting, leading to cramps, heartburn, constipation and bloating.
- Brain function slows down when we sit.
- Your brain gets less blood and oxygen.
- Because of the above, mood worsens.
- Posture gets worse, leading to strained neck and shoulders.
- Your entire body degenerates when you sit 10 hours a day.
- Standing requires tensing of the abdominal muscles.
- Sitting leads to weak abs, leading to mobility issues.
- Varicose veins develop.
- Your bones get weaker.
- One study found that you can increase your lifespan by two years by sitting down three hours or less a day.
- Another study found that each hour spent watching tv after 25 reduces your life expectancy by 22 minutes.
- On the other hand, each cigarette reduces your life expectancy by 11 minutes.
- Hence… sitting is the new smoking!