FITNESS | Sitting: As Bad As Smoking, Even If You Exercise Regularly

We all know exercise is important for good health.  But most do not realize how dangerous it is to be sedentary.
Travis Saunders, a Ph.D. student and certified exercise physiologist at the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group at Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario was interviewed for by Runners World: “Now a consistent body of emerging research suggests it is entirely possible to meet current physical activity guidelines while still being incredibly sedentary, and that sitting increases your risk of death and disease, even if you are getting plenty of physical activity. It’s a bit like smoking. Smoking is bad for you even if you get lots of exercise. So is sitting too much.”
In fact, a gene that is vital to your cardiovascular system’s health – controlling blood clotting and inflammation – was found to be significantly suppressed if you sit all day.  And the surprising part, is that if you were the kind of person to sit most of the day, the gene did NOT respond to exercise.  So if you work out for 60 or even 90 minutes every day, but sit for the rest of the time, this gene will still be supressed.
A New Zealand study from this past summer showed that taking a walking break for 1-2 minutes every hour was able to drastically lower blood sugar levels, which can ward off diabetes.
A great New Year’s resolution for 2014 is to make your life less sedentary. Here are 3 things you can start today to avoid the sedentary life at the office:
1.  Get up and walk around the office for 1-2 minutes every 1 hour.
2.  Try standing at your desk for phone calls, reading papers – anything you don’t need to be sitting for (writing, typing, etc.)
3.  Propose “walking meetings” with your colleagues – instead of sitting in a boardroom, go for a stroll.