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Sitting is the new smoking

"Sitting is the new smoking” as per Dr. Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative. "Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.” says Dr. Levine.

The human body is not designed to sit for prolonged periods. The muscles in the back along with the hamstrings and the gluteus maximus evolved over years to help stabilize your spine and work synergistically to maintain posture. When one is sitting the big muscles like the hamstrings and glutes are not contracting. This automatically reduces your basal metabolic rate, decreases the circulation to your legs and reduces venous return to the heart. Over time the person develops an increased risk of heart attack. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology showed that more than 6 hours of sitting increased the risk of myocardial infarction by 18 % in both men and women. Sitting for more than 2 hours also increases the risk of cancers like colon, endometrial and lung. It comes as no surprise that it also increases the risk of depression. Sitting around also changes the way we metabolize energy and store fat. This leads to metabolic syndrome and Obesity.

“But I exercise regularly!”

Studies have shown that regular exercise will not make up for sedentary behavior. Continuous low-grade activity helps our body in more ways than one. The beneficial effects of an hour of structured exercise cannot negate the effects of prolonged sitting. Small activities during the day helps to keep the heart rate up and increase the metabolism. Did you know that standing for 3 hours a day for a year is the equivalent of running 10 marathons? Standing for an hour a day can make you burn an extra 280 calories which may translate to 20 lbs. over the year. An average 160 lb. man would have to walk 3 miles at 3.5 mph to burn 280 calories.

Tips to reduce sitting:

Put an alarm on your phone for every 15 minutes to stand up for 1 minute.

Every hour get up and walk for 5 minutes or do calf raises at your desk.

Take phone calls standing up or pacing.

Swap your wheelie work chair for one without wheels that will force you to get up to reach objects.

Schedule walking meetings.

Make your workstation a standing one. Raise the computer on a platform or purchase a standing desk.

Whatever you do make sure to keep moving throughout the day.

For any help regarding weight loss please contact us at 732-549-3000.

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