I’m sure you’ve heard that sitting is the new smoking. Smokers were such a common sight at one point, even depicted in the movie industry! After decades of the habit, we began seeing the downside of built up ash in our respiratory tissues.
The advertisements about why smoking got the thumbs down were shocking – if it wasn’t pictures of the black lungs and throat cancer, it was the sounds of emphysema.
Today, the health statistics are even more staggering. When one reads from Medical News Today that a single cigarette reduces a persons life by 11 minutes or a typical smoker has a life expectancy of 25 years less than the life of their non-puffing peers, it is cause to sit up and take notice. Why didn’t we know this BEFORE all the bad news, before our aunts, uncles, cousins (or ourselves) were already victims suffering?
The phrase, sitting is the new smoking, should scare us. But what does sitting have, if anything, to do with smoking? They’ve finally linked it to specific health hazards that also shorten your life span, and shorten it quite significantly.
The hazards list:
- Higher risk of developing depression
- Greater risk of developing cancer – colon, endometrial, and lung
- Greater risk of developing heart disease
- Increases the risk of obesity
- Increases the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes
- Susceptible to muscular issues (immobility)
- Interferes with LPL, lipoproteinlipase (fat breakdown for fuel)
Of additional interest is the fact that there are three from the top ten leading causes of death in the US – #1 Heart disease, #2 Cancer, and #7 Diabetes.
With all that against sitting, we still find ourselves doing it. The information age has brought us technology, technology has brought convenience, and convenience has brought us to our knees (or our butts, to be more accurate).
More bad news – research is finding that people can not change the results of sitting with a half hour or hour of exercise. You should read that again. Research is finding that people can not change the results of sitting with a half hour or hour of exercise.
The medical definition of exercise: Physical activity that is planned, structured, and repetitive for the purpose of conditioning any part of the body. The two aspects of exercise we most focus on are Intensity and Duration, namely, High Intensity and Short Duration.
Research states that high intensity, short duration exercise does not combat the problems of prolonged sitting. Exercise, by its very definition, doesn’t cut it. So while everyone believes in their heart that making a trip to the gym is offsetting that desk job, it turns out they are missing the mark and will still have the same list of problems ailing us. Exercise is like cramming for an exam – a student may hold the details just long enough to answer the question, but the information doesn’t stick long term.
Will *you* stop exercising?
Many of my women friends would happily throw in the towel because exercise is too hard, takes too much time, and requires a different wardrobe.
I say, ‘Go ahead!’ After all, research doesn’t support exercise making a difference to your sitting, and we all follow the advice of research, don’t we?
I’ll reveal in an upcoming post, what we CAN do – and guess what, research supports that, too!