Sitting for long periods of time may be just as deadly as smoking cigarettes, according to research from the American College of Cardiology. Previous studies have found that those who sit for longer than 6 hours per day were 37% more likely to die from any given cause than those who sat for less than 3. But could sitting truly be as bad as smoking cigarettes? With an expected death rate of 8 million per year by 2030, smoking is an extremely prevalent yet preventable killer. If sitting is truly as deadly, then it’s bad news for the millions worldwide with sedentary lifestyles.
“Smoking certainly is a major cardiovascular risk factor and sitting can be equivalent in many cases,” explained Dr. David Coven, a cardiologist following the numerous studies released on the subject of prolonged sitting.
“The fact of being sedentary causes factors to happen in the body that are very detrimental,” said Dr. Coven.
When sitting for long periods of time, the body goes into storage mode. While in this mode, the body stops working effectively as it should. This is the primary reason that prolonged sitting has been linked to a number of conditions including heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and even early death.
The study may be most important to office workers who often sit for 8 or more hours per day. A simple solution is to stand up for a period of 10 or so minutes after each hour that you sit. Even better would be to perform some physical exercise during this time period. This will get your blood flowing, and remind the body that it does not need to enter storage mode. In addition, it is extremely important to setup a regular exercise routine in order to enjoy the full benefits of optimum health.