Too Much Sitting May Undo Gym Benefits
Are you doing enough to stay healthy? Not if you're reading this sitting down. New studies say the amount of time we spend with our caboose in the chair impacts our health as much and even more than exercise. Read on for news about whether too much sitting is overriding your fitness efforts.
Regular exercise is a crucial part of staying healthy and warding off disease. New studies say that exercise alone is not enough. We also need to extend our physically activity outside the gym. That's because logging that hour in the gym may not be enough physical activity to ward off diseases that can shorten our lifespan.
Researchers at The American Cancer Society (ACS) surveyed 123,216 men and women who were enrolled in the ACS's Cancer Prevention II study in 1992 and were followed from 1993 to 2006. None of the participants had a history of cancer, heart disease or emphysema. Results showed that women were more affected than men.
Researchers looked at off-work activities and discovered that women who spent more than six-hours per day sitting were 37 percent more likely to die during the 13-year study than those who sat less than three hours. Men were 18 percent more likely to die. It didn't seem to matter how much time they spent on physically fitness. It was the time sitting that was imperative. The link was stronger for heart disease than cancer mortality.
A similar Australian study came up with very similar findings after following 8000 participants. They linked time spent watching TV with an increased risk of death. And again, it wasn't just couch potatoes that were affected. Couch potatoes who exercised regularly also experienced increased risks the longer they spent sitting. This study included time spent playing videogames, at the computer and other sedentary activities.
What does that mean for you? It means put down the remote, step away from the screen and do something different with your leisure time. These studies emphasize that overall health is linked to our total physical activity and fitness levels. It's not enough to hit the gym and then stick to the couch. You have to re-vamp your lifestyle to include more time moving and less time sitting.
What would that lifestyle look like?
The studies accept that many people sit on the job. It's what we do before and after work that really matters. We need to find ways to weave physical activity into our day, like biking to and from work. Instead of leaving the office, going to the gym and then spending the rest of the evening catching up on Facebook or watching our favorite shows, we could be walking to the market, walking the dog, playing in the yard with our kids and dancing to our favorite tunes. We could weed the garden, rake the leaves, scrub the floor and climb the stairs to do laundry. Or, we could pop in a yoga DVD instead of an old movie. It's not the television that's the problem, but what we're doing while watching.
Sitting may shorten Lives
Tuesday, 12 January
American Cancer Society
Cancer Prevention II Study Overview
Sign Up for Free Newsletters
Ask Your Doctor the RIGHT Questions!
the most from your doctor visit.
Emailed right to you!
The Ask Your Doctor email series
may contain sponsored content.
18+, US residents only please.
Explore Original Articles About...
Get the MOST from QualityHealth
- Top Searches
- 1. Arthritis Management: Nature Heals
- 2. 5 Digestive To-Dos
- 3. Men: Should You Shave It or Leave It?
- 4. Today's Top Fitness Trends
- 5. Sugar and Osteoarthritis : The Link
- 6. Can't Afford Your Hospital Bills?
- 7. Stay Energized All Day Long
- 8. Phobias: Who Has Them and Why?
- 9. What If Your EpiPen Fails?
- 10. 5 Costly Medical Billing Mistakes
- 1. Ice Falls Can Cause Serious Injuries
- 2. Can Inactivity Act Like a Disease?
- 3. Kale Snack Recipe for Diabetics
- 4. How Running Affects Arthritis
- 5. Sugar and Your Immunity System
- 6. Do Weight Loss Supplements Work?
- 7. 5 Super Foods for Spring
- 8. The Hazards of Reusable Bags
- 9. How to Avoid Ingrown Hairs
- 10. Health Tip: Constantly Change Shoes
- 1. 4 Common Treatments for Epilepsy
- 2. What Does a Urogynecologist Do?
- 3. GERD Without Heartburn? It's Possible
- 4. Graston Technique: Can It Work on You?
- 5. Music Therapy Can Help Autism
- 6. 8 Ways to Fight MS-Related Fatigue
- 7. Can You Still Bleed After Menopause?
- 8. Be Your Own Health Care Advocate
- 9. Why Is Syphillis on the Rise?
- 10. Ideal Weight vs. Happy Weight
The material on the QualityHealth Web site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a physician or other qualified health provider. See additional information.