Can Too Much Sitting Make You Sick … or Worse?
Posted on 7/08/2011 | Donna Cardillo, RN, MA | Dr Oz web site
I’m standing up while writing this. Why? Because I’ve just been reading research from the last few years about the serious health risks of spending too much time in the day/week sitting down. And the scary part is that even though I exercise regularly, that may not be enough to counteract the damage done by the long stretches of time I spend sitting at my computer. Clearly, I need to make some changes and you may need to as well, especially if you have a desk job or spend six or more hours each day seated.
The damage/risk comes from a type of deadly metabolic chain reaction. According to inactivity researcher Marc Hamilton in a recent New York Times article, electrical activity in the leg muscles drop, your calorie burning rate drops, and insulin effectiveness drops along with a reduction in vital enzymes that helps to “clean up” harmful lipids and triglycerides in your blood.
All of this can lead to obesity, muscle and bone weakness, certain cancers, diabetes, and a shorter life span – just from sitting too much! One study showed an increase in the risk of blood clots in woman that can travel to the lung (pulmonary embolism), a condition which can be fatal. Another study found that prolonged sitting can lead to heart and circulatory disease similar to that which smokers experience! This is serious stuff.