Sitting is Bad for Your Health

By Dr. Diana Sarmiento, The Blogging Doc

Spending all day in front of your computer can kill you!

People who spend most of their time sitting may have a 40 percent increased risk of dying from any cause, than people who spend more time on their feet. This data was published at the Archives of Internal Medicine just this March.

More than 220,000 Australians were enrolled in the study. They were monitored for three years on how much time they spent sitting. The group was compared to a control group which was composed of people who spent less than 4 hours sitting.

The results revealed that:

  • if you sat for more than 8 hours a day, you have a 15 percent higher chance of dying than the control group
  • if you sat for more than 11 hours a day, you have a 40 percent higher chance of dying than the control group
  • Jinoe Gavan, a running coach, says, "This data supports the growing evidence that a sedentary lifestyle is really bad for the health. We should all try to increase mobility and be active."

    Even window-shopping helps

    It is not the sitting per se that is bad for the body but it is more of the lack of exercise and physical activity that causes harm.

    "Movement and physical exertion have a positive effect on blood fats called triglycerides and other heart risks and improves blood pressure too," according to Dr. Alpa V. Patel from the American Cancer Society.

    Try to limit the time you spend sitting

    It could be at work in front of your desk or at home in front of the TV.

    Find some activity that you enjoy doing. It does not have to be a sport. It can be window shopping, gardening, taking your dog for a walk, or listening to the evening news on a portable radio as you stroll around the village. All these can contribute to your time away from that couch.

    Dr. Diana Sarmiento is a mother of three, part-time doctor, and a full-time wife and mother. The topics closest to her heart are women’s health, parenting, and any new information that she can get her hands on. Read more on her personal blog, Filipina M.D.