There's more and more evidence that sitting is dangerous - here's how to counteract it
- Sitting for too long damages the heart, may harm the brain, and increases risk of death.
- Researchers aren't even sure that exercise is enough to make up for the harms of sitting too much.
- But taking a break can help - try to get up every 30 minutes, or for two hours out of every workday.
A sedentary lifestyle isn't just bad for the waistline and the heart, though it certainly can cause problems there. Sitting for too long is also associated with weakening of the brain in areas associated with memory, increased risk for cancer and diabetes, and overall increased risk of an early death.Advertisement
The more we learn about the health effects of sitting, the more it seems there's a good reason to get up and go for a walk - or a run.
There's no way to wipe away the effects of spending eight to twelve hours a day sitting down without taking breaks. A number of studies show that even people who get vigorous exercise still suffer negative health effects associated with sitting too long.
But that doesn't mean you can't do anything to improve your long-term prognosis if your day job involves a lot of time at a desk. There are solutions, and some are easy to implement.Exercise helps. But perhaps most important for counteracting sitting time is remembering to get up and keep moving every so often.
Here's what we know about how sitting affects the body and how to make up for the harm that our sedentary lifestyles can cause.
Scientists have started to understand just why sitting might be so bad for us. It seems to cause gradual "subclinical injury" to the heart over time.
Sitting too long could be harmful in ways we're still trying to understand, potentially even causing damage in the brain.Advertisement
Many studies have shown that exercise alone can't compensate for the harms of sitting.
If you more than double the recommended fitness guidelines, that might be enough to make up for the harms of sitting.Advertisement
People who exercise a lot may sit more when not exercising, which could cause additional harm.
Standing all day isn't a perfect solution, either.Advertisement
The best solution is to get up every so often and move around.
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