Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sitting can kill?

A really interesting article in the Scientific American:

Can sitting too much kill you?

What is the take-home message?

There is a rapidly accumulating body of evidence which suggests that prolonged sitting is very bad for our health, even for lean and otherwise physically active individuals. The good news? Animal research suggests that simply walking at a leisurely pace may be enough to rapidly undo the metabolic damage associated with prolonged sitting, a finding which is supported by epidemiological work in humans. So, while there are a lot of questions that remain unanswered (e.g. Is there a “safe” amount of daily sedentary time?), the evidence seems clear that we should strive to limit the amount of time we spend sitting. And when we do have to sit for extended periods of time (which, let’s face it, is pretty much every single day for many of us) we should take short breaks whenever possible.

Finally, if you take only one thing from this post, let it be this—sitting too much is not the same as exercising too little.

4 comments:

O Primitivo said...

Obesity Panacea: Sedentary Physiology (in 5 parts) - http://blogs.plos.org/obesitypanacea/2010/12/06/sedentary-physiology-part-1-not-just-the-lack-of-physical-activity/

Nathan said...

Let me play skeptic here ... how would we (as good scientists) design a study to rule out that good cardiovascular health causes less sitting, rather than the reverse.

I don't see a convincing mechanism proposed either.

I do think that sitting tends to cause poor back health ... perhaps people who sit more accumulate more/earlier back problems, which somehow may lead to earlier cv problems ... I dunno.

Nolan said...

I'm quite active (play soccer + run + do boot camps) and I can definitely tell if I've been sitting more than usual during the week. My back tightens up and I become more lethargic. I can't imagine what it would do to me if I worked in at a desk 8 hours a day.

Carolyn Blackburn said...

I gave up being an accountant because I knew my work lifestyle was bad for my health.
Now I'm a Bowen Therapist - I spend a lot of my day standing and walking around a massage table working physically and I love it!
Now I'm always telling my clients to walk more and stretch their hamstrings if they have been sitting for a while.