Sitting IS the new Smoking

The 12 year follow up of 11,000 people involved in an Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle study has concluded that we are ‘stacking on the weight’ as a society and has pointed to ‘sitting’ as  a key factor in this epidemic. Participants in the study reported that they sat for an average of 200 minutes each day whereas a portable device that measured their movement reported this number to actually be 500 minutes.

In the US, ‘sitting is the new smoking’ is a current health tag line with increased sitting being linked to obesity, diabetes, heart conditions, back/neck/shoulder complaints and poor sleep.

In addition, technology is increasingly bringing ‘information’ to us – we no longer need to get off our bums to go and find answers or communicate.So what are we to do?

We need to be deliberate in our approach to reduce sitting time during business hours – to initiate cultural change in our work places that will benefit the health of all involved. The main change needed is to view movement as an opportunity, not an inconvenience during our day and to encourage others to support this viewpoint. Use the stairs, hold stand up meetings, stand up and move when you take phone calls and stand up when you eat your lunch – these are some simple things that just require consciousness to action.

The findings of this study are also useful to provide us with yet more reasons to prioritise time for exercise as a preventative measure for all of the health conditions linked to excessive sitting.

-Kristin Lewis




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