Yesterday, I was awake for 17 hours. Of those 17 hours I sat for almost 16 of them. I moved my body for a grand total of 77 minutes. Seriously. I actually kept track just to see. The only time I moved was to get from one place I was sitting to another.
In a conversation with a biomechanical health professional yesterday, I was reminded what I am doing to myself as I sit this much day to day. It is literally changing the structure of my body. So I came home and Googled it a bit. Well...
Research out of Cornell University has shown that the 'side effects' of prolonged sitting are similar to that of smoking. Here's the list - it increases your belly fat, appetite and LDL (bad) cholesterol; it increases your risk of developing dementia, heart disease, cancer and diabetes; and of course it increases your risk of obesity and physical disability as you age. They don't know why yet but I'm not going to wait to find out.
The Mayo Clinic cites a study that shows your chances of dying from a heart attack are 125% greater when you spend 4 hours a day sitting in front of a screen. Just 4 hours! My father had a heart attack when he was 38, a few weeks after his brother died of one in his early 40's. So my odds aren't great to begin with.
And get this. Even if you exercise regularly it's not enough to counteract the negative impact of sitting too much. Exercise will diminish the negative impact, but it will not completely negate it.
We are going camping this weekend and now I'm doubly happy about it. Not only will I get to be outside 24/7 for 4 days straight but I will be moving most of the time.
Sit less. Move more.