We do it all the time, and we’ve been doing it forever. It’s nothing spectacular of out of the ordinary. In fact, it’s perfectly ordinary—sitting. We never really think about it, but we should probably start. Ultimately, sitting is just like anything else: Too much of it can be very bad. Researchers have linked sitting for long periods of time to a number of health concerns, and the list is long and diverse. For example, obesity, decreased bone mass, high blood pressure, increased risk of diabetes, abnormal cholesterol levels, decreased blood flow….the list goes on and on.
However, studies also indicate that too much sitting may be linked to an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.
One recent study looked at those who spent less than two hours a day in front of the TV/computer with those who logged more than four hours a day of recreational screen time. Those with greater screen time had:
- A nearly 50 percent increased risk of death from any cause
- About a 125 percent increased risk of events associated with cardiovascular disease, such as chest pain (angina) or heart attack
Additionally, if you spend 10 to 20 years sitting down for 6 hours a day (if you work a desk job, you certainly will; you also sit all the time when you are going to school), you may have lost up to seven quality adjusted life years. Scientists suggest that if we all sat for no more than three hours a day, we’d all live two years longer.
Unfortunately, scientists believe many desk jockeys will have already done lasting damage to their bodies as a result of sitting down all day. According to Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Ph.D.: “Even within physically active individuals, there was a strong association between sitting and risk of mortality… This is an important observation because it suggests that high amounts of sitting cannot be compensated for with occasional leisure time physical activity even if the amount exceeds the current minimum physical activity recommendations.”
That said, doing something is better than doing nothing, as you may help prevent additional damage to your body. In this recent video from AsapScience, they cover the damage that you may be doing to your body and how you can fix it.