When the evolutionary march from the four legged species to the two legged ones took place, the human body was designed to be mobile and not sedentary. But, the kind of lifestyle that many people have today, they tend to lead a sedentary lifestyle. No matter where people go, there are more opportunities to sit down than to stand up. When you go to school, there are desks and chairs. The same is the case when you go to office. And then the car and the comfortable chair you have at home for watching TV. Because most of the job that humans do require them to sit, it is quite difficult to break the cycle.
According to a number of studies and researches, the sedentary lifestyle that you live is destructive to your overall well being. In fact, it is said that sitting has become the new smoking and anyone who sits for more than six hours a day is at an increased risk of suffering health problems and even death.
The truth about sitting
After the evolution to the two legged species, most of the lives of humans were spent hunting and farming. Humans were on their feet most of the time which enabled them to carry on with the day to day lives. But with the advent of the internet and television, people are sitting for more than ever. On average, humans are sitting for about 9.5 hours which is even more than sleeping. So how much time is really spent standing up or on the feet? Very little and this is a fact that is taking a toll on human’s modern life today.
How is too much sitting detrimental?
• Sitting for more than six hours a day increases your chances of death by up to 40%.
• Sitting makes you fat. One in every three American is obese and one of the major causes of this is an inactive lifestyle. In fact, it is estimated that obese people tend to sit for two and half hours more per day than thin people.(The rate of burning calories drops significantly when sitting down. Sitting causes the good cholesterol levels in the body to drop by 20% and the enzymes that are responsible for breaking down fat to drop by 90%.)
• People who carry out desk jobs are at a greater risk of suffering cardiovascular problems.
• Those who sit all day also have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
• Sitting for too long was associated with a higher risk of being diagnosed with cancer.
• Sitting increases the chances of developing varicose or spider veins
How to make changes?
Sitting is really killing you if you are leading an inactive and sedentary lifestyle. If you are spending too much time on the chair, then it is important that you make some changes to your lifestyle. These include the following:
• Interrupt sitting whenever you can. Get off the chair and walk around the office at every opportunity you get.
• Don’t be a couch potato. Look for activities that will help you remain active after work as well. If you usually spend 3 hours watching TV, cut it down to one hour and spend the rest of the two hours playing with the kids, gardening, cycling, taking a walk in the park, etc.
• Find some sitting alternatives, as a standing desk.
• Take a walk instead. Instead of taking the car to the shop, take a walk or ride your bike. Instead of the elevator, take the stairs.