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Sitting can be detrimental to your health

Published 5:30 pm Monday, January 6, 2014

Do you sit a lot during the day? Studies have shown that when a person spends too much time sitting, that there can be health risks. These include risk of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and higher cholesterol levels.

Too much sitting may also lead to increase risk of heart disease and certain cancers. These studies have shown that when there is an increased amount of time spent in front of a TV screen or computer, there is a 125 percent increase in the chance of heart disease. These studies show us that we should not be sitting in front of a screen for long periods of time or on a regular basis. 

There are other times in which adults may sit for long periods of time, even if it is not in front of a screen. If you have a long commute to work or remain sitting behind your desk all day long, you are at risk as well. Even when you are physically active at other times during the day, the time spent sitting still has a poor effect on your health. It is important to give your body a break from the “sitting” position.

If you are wondering how you can fit more activity into your daily life and stop sitting so much, here are a few ideas that you may use to break up the amount of time spend seated.

If you have to take a phone call, stand while you are on the phone.

If you have a meeting with only one other person, trying taking a walk for your meeting.

Take the stairs instead of the elevator if you have a choice at your workplace.

Did you know that even these small ideas can have a huge impact on your health?

For most people, when they have activity breaks during their day, they feel more energized and less stress. 

These small steps can be used to help stay on track with weight loss if that is a goal as well.  You will burn more calories on a daily basis.

Sitting for long periods of time can be bad for your health. In order to break up long stretches of sitting there are many activities that one can do.

Of course, there are times when you cannot prevent having to sit for a longer time, but hopefully after doing so you will take a little more time for some activity.

Reference: Levine, James. (2012). What are the risks for sitting too much? Mayo Clinic Accessed from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sitting/AN02082
Source:  Nicole Peritore, Extension Physical Activity Program Coordinator, University of Kentucky; College of Agriculture, Food and Environment