Why is sitting too much bad for you?

With trends in sedentary behavior steadily increasing, there is a significant amount of research being done to figure out exactly why too much sitting is harmful to our overall health and wellness.   Fascinating new research has unraveled three potentially significant issues.

  1. Sitting impairs the body’s ability to remove fat out of the blood stream and either use it for energy or deposit it into the body for storage until our body requires additional energy. These constantly elevated blood fats put us at higher risk for cardiovascular disease.

  2. Too much sitting during the day also impairs the functioning of the body’s healthy cholesterol, HDL.  HDL acts as a scavenger in the body, cleaning up plaque build-up in the arteries. When HDL is impaired from doing these actions, this is an additional risk for cardiovascular disease.

  3. Decreases in muscle contractions with prolonged periods of sitting are linked to reductions in insulin sensitivity.  Lower insulin sensitivity increases your risk of developing type 2 or adult onset diabetes.

The current scientific recommendations are to stand up and move more every hour throughout the day and accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity daily ( either in one bout or broken up into 2 fifteen minute or 3 ten minute bouts).  This can be things like brisk walking, light jogging, elliptical, biking, swimming, or water aerobics.

Stay tuned, next week we’ll share some ideas on how to get active throughout your day!  In the meantime, if you have any things that you do during your day to break up your sitting, we’d love to hear it so we can add more suggestions to the list! 

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