You are most likely aware that Cardio Vascular Disease is the leading cause of death but do you know what is the second? Sedentary! This should come as no surprise however, because the longer we sit in front of our computers, tablets, and phones the higher our likely hood for cardio vascular troubles!
As a therapist in body awareness and mother of teenagers I am obliged to write and raise awareness. My 15 year old son said to me last week, “Mom, I don’t understand what has happened. When I was in the 5th grade you were lucky if there was one or two fat kids in class but today, 1 out of 3 fifth graders are fat. I’m puzzled, why so many?”
Of course I used that opportunity to explain to him what I have been telling him for years. “You know those electronic devices you have son, and how I keep telling you to go outside and play with your friends? And how I’ve told you, you may not see the damage it’s doing now but in a few years from now you will?”
Here’s what a day looks like for my 15 year old. He gets out of bed to go downstairs to sit at the table and eat breakfast, then he leaves for a 4 minute walk to sit on the bus to school where he spends a minimum of 4.5 hours sitting at a desk only to come back home and spend another hour sitting in front of his computer or at the table doing homework or computer games, has a minimum of an hours physical activity and he is then back in that sitting position for dinner and TV.
If we are sitting this long already at 15, can you imagine how many billions of hours you have spent on your rump? Have you ever thought about or calculated the number of hours you are sitting somewhere within any given day. How many hours of cardio do you suppose you do in any given day? According to the studies, even if you are practicing a sport, sitting during the day is still damaging.
Your heart is a muscle and it must be used just like the rest of your muscles! Think of it as the gas tank in your car. No gas – no car, no heart no life. You take the time to fuel your car when it runs out of gas, please take the time to fuel your heart before it runs out. And for you smokers, consider what you are clogging your veins with.
In May 2015, L’Illustré published an article “Le danger de la posture assise ou la santé a portée de jambes. In it they announce “the sitting position is not only responable for back problems but equally for a series of pathological problems. The specialists claim that sitting is a real death problem.”
Perhaps you think this is an exaggeration. Not at all! At a recent congress of cardiologists it was stated, “the more time we spend sitting the more our arteries are clogging with the risk of cardiovascular disease increasing. One hour of sitting increases the obstruction of arteries by 14%.“
A Canadian scientific synthesis of 47 different studies of around the world conclude that a prolonged sitting posture increases the risk of suffering from diabetes by 90%, 18% victim to cancers (in particular to the intestines, uterus and prostate) and increased cardio vascular illness with a considerable reduction of life span.
Another British study that was published in the magazine Stern can be resumed as follows. “In the sitting position your muscles no longer consume energy, the insulin receptors become blocked, the glycemic (sugar) and lipids (fat) increase all of which favors over weight and increases the risk factors of cardio vascular disease.”
The Annals of internal Medicine will confirm all data http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2091327
According to the studies I have researched, even if you are active with sports activity the risk of sitting is the same.
Call to action:
- Get off your rump!
- Ask for a stand up work station or a station that can be adjusted
- Move around the office for 5 minutes at least once an hour
- Get out and walk at lunch time
- Take calls standing up
- Install one of the hundreds of applications out there to get you moving
- Stand up and stretch every hour