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Fit Happens Tip – Get Off Your Butt

The price you pay for the sedentary lifestyle is not good. A listener asks, “Does sitting cause cancer?” I agree this is scary—calm down. Here’s what is going on. We’re sitting more than ever. We go from sedentary jobs to sedentary activities after work—resulting in a lot more time sitting than moving.

There was a research study of more than 17,000 individuals in 2010 linking to much sitting with increased risks of disease and premature death.

  1. Men and women who reported more than 23 hours a week sedentary activity had a 64 percent risk of dying from heart disease than those who were sedentary less than 11 hours a week.
  2. People who use a computer for 11 hours or more a week, or watch tv 21 hours or more a week, are more likely to be obese.
  3. Too much sitting time correlates with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other prevalent chronic health problems.

OK you get it—sitting itself is not fundamentally harmful—except when done incorrectly for long periods of time on a consistent basis. Your body was not meant to be sedentary—look at all your moving parts. (If you’re driving look later.)

Numerous metabolic and other body processes are negatively impacted by long periods of sitting. Here’s some things you can do to get off your butt:

–Get up frequently at least once every hour, stretch, walk around, move for at least 5 minutes
–Use an exercise ball for a chair–unlike sitting in a chair, sitting on an exercise ball engages your core muscles and helps improve balance and flexibility
–Exercise at your desk—many movements you can do that benefit your body
–Cut back on TV, video games and computer at home—make your leisure time is as active as possible

Bottom line: energy creates energy—all together now—“stand up and move forward.”
(Research studies published: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2011, British Journal of Sports Medicine editorial 2011)

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