Weight-gain is not the worst thing that could happen. A recent study has found that sitting down for too long, even if you regularly exercise, increases the risk of premature death. According to the researchers, the severe effects of prolonged sitting are caused mainly by disrupted metabolic functions that damaged the vascular health.
Basically the lack of movement triggers some really unhealthy metabolic changes – making us resistant to insulin, increasing the level of glucose in the blood and reducing the levels of good cholesterol while increasing the levels of bad ones. All of these increase the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
Apart from all of the above and the fact that our butts hurt, our leg muscles shut off, the enzymes that help break down fat drop and calorie burning drops too. Unfortunately, that is the world we live in – we tend to spend most of our time sitting either at work or in front of the TV, or with a laptop/iPad/e-reader. We usually don’t have the time or often don’t have the strength to be active so we’d rather lie on the couch while we rest. Here’s what you can do – interrupt sitting whenever you can!
Walk: instead of taking the bus why not walk. It’s refreshing and you’ll burn 3-5 times more calories compared to sitting. Take a walk around the office every now and again. It doesn’t take much – just a few seconds.
Take the stairs: the first two or three times it will take a little more effort but once you get used to them, you’d prefer them rather than the elevator.
Stretch: apart from being a nice break for your butt, stretching relaxes the muscles and relieves the stress in them.
Jump: that’s my favourite! I usually jump around the kitchen while cooking. Crazy as it may sound, it feels great!
However, it’s not just sitting that is dangerous. In fact, any posture that is too static has negative effects on the body and here we come to the conclusion that applies to almost everything: too much of anything is no good. Striking a balance is key! It’s time to walk up!
Written by Dr. Noel Duncan