Do you know that sitting can shorten your life? I know that sounds like a bizarre thing to say but it’s true.
Eighteen studies over the last 16 years involving over 800,000 people have come up with some startling results. For instance, one study has shown that those people that sit for four hours a day watching television have a 46% increase chance of dying from any cause than those sitting and watching television for less than two hours a day. Another study has shown that you double your risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease if you sit for more than half the day. Lack of movement slows metabolism leading to less food being converted to energy to move and thus leading to weight increase, and a wide range of health problems.
I hear you say “but I’ve got an office job so there is nothing I can do about it!” Well actually it is easier to do something about it than you would think. James Levine, an endocrinologist who co-directs Obesity Solutions, a program of the Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University and author of the book Get Up! (Palgrave Macmillian, 2014) says that we can convert sitting time to walking time using “nonexercise activity thermogenesis” or NEAT. In other words, what you would normally do sitting, do standing or walking instead. Have walk and talk meetings; stand up to read emails, documents, magazine articles; go and talk to your work colleague who is near you rather than sending an email; and why not even eat your lunch standing or walking!
Even making these small NEAT changes will have an enormous affect on your health, not to mention your waistline. So if you have been reading this sitting down, what are you waiting for? Get up, go on you can do it!