Risks of Inactivity – Sitting increases your risk of heart attack

Doesn’t matter how fit you are…don’t sit…

Sitting in an office chair
by quoo, on Flickr

I read an article today that really caught my attention, especially in this computer age.  The article was titled: The Most Dangerous Thing You Will Do All Day.   To my surprise, the most dangerous thing you can do is sit for long periods at a time.  

It seems that several studies have been done and all point to the fact that people who sit for the majority of the day are 54% more likely to die of a heart attack.  54%!!!!  The studies also showed that it did not matter if you were man, woman, fit or not, the 54% applies to all. You could run marathons on the weekend, but if you sit at a desk during the majority of the week, you are equally at risk.

So where does this leave us?  Well, I for one am currently typing this post while standing.  I decided to relocate my laptop to the kitchen counter where I can type standing up comfortably.  I am going to try and make it a habit to work on my computer while standing.  If I need to use my desktop pc then I will limit my time sitting while using it.

When you have the option, whether at home or at the office, choose to stand instead of sit.  You burn more calories standing than you do sitting.  You can burn 12 to 30 calories more per hour than sitting.  The calorie burn depends on several factors such as gender and weight.  On average you will burn 33 to 63 calories for 30 minutes of quiet sitting, compared to 39 to 78 calories standing.

Standing is much more beneficial compared to sitting if you look at some of the issues that sitting for extended periods can cause. It can cause numerous issues including but not limited to:

  • Gluteal amnesia
  • Lower back pain
  • Bad posture
  • 68 percent more likely to be overweight if you sit for more than 6 hours a day

I am still in amazement of the fact that this stat does not care how fit or unfit you are.  Because of this, I’ve forwarded this article on to a number of my friends and family who have desk jobs.  I love them too much not to let them in on the results of this study. 

Remember, stand when you can and limit the time you sit.  Now, I am not saying never to sit, I mean lets be real here people, but do limit your time on your butt.

** This article is for amusement purposes only.  Anytime you change your diet or increase your exercise level, you should consult a physician first.  This article should not be used as a substitute for speaking with your doctor.  **
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