You might remember those early health warnings around coffee? Yes, it’s bad for you. Just this year though it was reported to be healthy in moderation, translates to 3 cups a day.
Then the call from a loved food sounded, “eggs are bad your health.” Yes, that cholesterol in them will kill us because of contributing to higher cholesterol in our bodies. Now eggs are okay, in moderation. Turns out the cholesterol in eggs are not absorbed in our bodies. Along with the once touted cry to stop consuming, it turns out there is more to cholesterol than we were hearing originally and– hold on – the safe limit to our bodily cholesterol is being raised.
Is this new cry about sitting true: we are sitting too much and it’s killing us?
Don’t I owe it to my more introverted friends to discuss these findings? After all, maybe introverts are more susceptible? Or maybe there is something to sticking to those New Years “exercise resolutions” after all.
My suspicions are either stoked by my introvert nature or the mere fact I question almost everything or my decades of accrued wisdom from personal experience.
It seems to me there is always something more to these cries of yet another health hazard.
Sitting Down – How Much Is Too Much Everyday?
In the United States, in the 1900s about half of all children born were only expected to live to reach the age of 50. Today, the life expectancy of an average person (of any sex) is about 77 years old.
Darn those nasty cars that we ride and drive in.
Oh boy the airlines are going to have more problems now.
Curse technology causing us to have computers at every desk where we can be quite productive.
Even with nutrition and overall advances in medicine and health care now sitting down too much every day might kill us.
But just how bad is sitting? Looking at a now removed infographic (isn’t that curious?) it looks like we have a real epidemic on our butts.
Talk about a demotivator instead of a motivator to exercise. Here is the lead sentence in one article:
“Even if you regularly exercise when not sitting behind your desk, it still significantly raises your risk for diabetes, heart disease (including strokes and heart attacks), obesity and even certain types of cancer.”
I remember hearing stories from her, which often would include a passing comment about how much she walked that day, and was so delighted to just sit and gab with friends after a long day. Yes, she’s more of an extrovert type to want to have all that stimulation after a days work around so many people.
She’s not overweight, doesn’t have diabetes or cancer and only recently because of two falls within less than 6 months is now is a long term care facility and needs 2 nurses to help with her daily self-care activities.
Excuse me studies: I know at least one person who doesn’t fit your findings. I could go on with a list.
Dig deep into the “scare you out of your seat” articles, and you do find hope, or at least reports that balance the cry of fear.
Reported in a National Institutes of Health post, the presupposition of a study was maybe breaking sitting time would have positive effects on reducing the risks. While it certainly wasn’t a large study, the conclusions were positive:
When light activity breaks were introduced hourly during sitting, the decline in FMD (artery blood flow) was prevented.
There are 2 blog posts I’ve posted in the past referring to my daily habit using the Pomodoro technique for focus and moving. I highly recommend this practice.
The idea is to work for 25 minutes and then take a short break. I use a 7-minute break but it can be less. During these 7 minutes I either head to my kitchen to drink a glass of water. Or I exercise with my hula-hoop or any number of 7 minute moving routines. The Pomodoro method was designed to improve mental agility with frequent breaks and you can double your pleasure with it for the break from sitting.
It’s highly likely there are other studies that come to a similar findings that refute we cannot either help or reverse things to some degree.
Then again there are continued statements or findings like:
“For every two hours of sitting, you raise your risk of colon cancer by 8 percent, endometrial cancer by 10 percent, and lung cancer by 6 percent.”
Dr. James Levine, at Mayo Clinic, claims there are at least 24 different chronic diseases and conditions from sitting too much can cause.
Follow-up soon with: some of the ailments from sitting too much.
For a brief second I wanted to cry out to my more introverted followers, “Now more reason to get up off your butt and go out into your communities and play with your social side in networking and family gatherings.”
That was when my Pomodoro timer went off, I got up to get a cup of tea and came to my senses.
Let me ask you: