The sitting disease is a catchy phrase that was coined in the medical community for those who have a sedentary lifestyle that might be putting their health at risk. There has been a growing body of research that shows long periods of physical inactivity can raise your risk of developing cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. If you have a desk job, then we encourage you to consider looking into ways to stay active throughout your workday.
What is Sitting Disease?
It has been termed by the scientific community, commonly used when referring to the metabolic syndrome and the ill-effects of an overly sedentary lifestyle.
- 3.2 million deaths occur each year that are related to physical inactivity.
- Physical inactivity is the 4th leading risk factor for global mortality.
- Only 15% of people are aware of the sitting disease.
We Are Sitting Too Much
When we work the entire day, we’re sitting most of the time, and we often don’t even pay attention to how much we sit. In addition to you sitting at your desk, you’re also most likely sitting while you commute to work too. A study was conducted in 2008, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, that Americans spend 55% of their waking time (7.7 hours per day) in sedentary behavior such as sitting.
Sitting is the new smoking, because of the similar health issues that long term sedentary lifestyle can cause.
Another ongoing health issue related to sitting is the correlation to obesity. There’s a study that was done from London, UK, demonstrated that the amount of time sitting and exercise you get every week can affect your chance of obesity. If you’ve engaged in low levels of exercise, you’ll have an 8% rate of obesity, compared to those who engage in moderate to vigorous exercise, who had a 4.8% rate of obesity (which is defined at 4.25 hours per week).
Incorporating sitting into this equation, for those who exercised the most and sat the least had a 74% lower risk of obesity after five years.
Try using an under desk bike to help you exercise throughout the day without even if you have to sit at your desk, reducing your risk of obesity.
Humans Are Meant To Move
For thousands of years, that’s exactly what humans did! But nowadays, with advanced technologies, we’ve begun chipping away at our physical activities. Think, cars, TVs, and computers.
As technology has been doing more of the heavy lifting, we’ve become more sedentary, and it’s becoming more and more normal.
Our body is designed to be moving, and it is essential to our well-being if you consider doing light exercises daily. Even low intensity, ‘non-exercise’ activities like standing and walking are much more important than people realize.
Low-level activities play a crucial metabolic role and account for more of our daily expenditure than moderate-to-high intensity activities.
Start Standing to Combat Sitting Disease
A great way to combat sitting disease is to alternate between sitting and standing every 30 minutes. You don’t have to stand for hours, just follow a simple 20-8-2 rule, where you only need to stand and do some light stretches for 10 minutes every 30 minutes.
You can read more on our article on how long you should stand.