Many people today are aware of the health benefits and risks incurred as a result of their lifestyle choices. There has been ever increasing research and attention paid to fad diets and trending exercise regimes, all designed to decrease body fat while increasing lean muscle mass.
However perhaps the most overlooked and relevant risk factor in modern society, is the time we spend sedentary, specifically, sitting. Most recent research is now arguing that as little as 2 continuous hours per day of sitting can increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cancer and soft tissue related issues such as back and neck pain.
Further from this, studies are revealing that the effects of long term sitting aren’t necessarily reversible. That is to say that if you routinely exercise for 1 hour per day and eat well, yet spend the rest of the day seated; sitting can undo and even cancel out the benefits of being physically active in that 1 hour.
Put simply, sitting has become a dominant part of day to day life, and it is costing us our health. This trend has become so dominant that the world health organization has labelled sedentary behaviour a public health crisis, identifying it as the 4th biggest preventable killer globally.
These findings however don’t need to be all doom and gloom. A study in Britain found that spending less than 12 hours per week sitting decreased diabetes risk by 75%.
Furthermore, something as simple as standing at your desk has been shown as a simple way to instantly start reversing the effect of sitting.
As we enter the summer months and ponder our beach bods, studies have shown that when comparing individuals with sedentary and non-sedentary occupations, as much as 1000 calories more were burned per day, by the individuals who were required to stand to work. And the benefits aren’t just physical, Research has shown among school aged children who utilized standing desks compared with traditional seated desks, working memory and executive function were significantly improved.
In a modern age where seemingly the answer for most health problems is a tablet, perhaps we all just need to start sitting less and moving more?
If you’re sitting down to read this, chances are that might be you?