‘Sitting is the New Smoking’ proclaim many leading researchers and publications. They are of course referring to the sedentary behaviours and lifestyle mistakes (or low level of energy expenditure) of modern life such as sitting for long hours at workplace, watching TV or surfing the Internet, which reflect an increased physical inactivity among a large proportion of population today.
Why say no to a sedentary lifestyle?
According to World Health Organisation (WHO) and trusted Neurologists in Mumbai,
- Physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for mortality worldwide, accounting for 6 per cent deaths globally
- It is major cause of breast and colon cancers in 21-25 per cent cases
- It leads to diabetes in 27 per cent population.
- It is responsible for heart disease in 30 per cent of patients.
Such lifestyle mistakes increase the risk of the following:
- High blood pressure
- Coronary artery disease
- Anxiety and depression
- Certain cancers
Research shows how physical inactivity is dangerous for health
A study published in January 2010 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that people who sit for long periods of time are at a higher risk of disease than those who moved around now and then, even for small activities like walking to get a glass of water.
In the same period, an Australian research group published the lifestyle habits of 8,800 adults in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. Their findings state that every hour spent in front of television increases the risk of cardiovascular disease by 18%, linking the effects of sitting for long periods on health.
In July 2012, The Lancet published a study that estimated the burden of physical inactivity on major non-communicable diseases like heart disease, diabetes type 2, and breast and colon cancer to be at 6%, 7%, 10% and 10%, respectively. It also stated that reducing inactivity by 10% could avert 533,000 deaths every year, and over 1.3 million deaths if reduced by 25%.
Equally alarming is the study on rats published in February 2014 in The Journal of Comparative Neurology that showed changes in the neurons of sedentary rats, causing their nervous system to increase blood pressure and lead to heart disease.
WHOs recommendation on physical activity levels for different ages is:
- 60 minutes of moderate to intense daily activity for ages 5-17 years.
- 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity or 75 minutes of intense physical activity every week for adults aged 18-64 years.
- 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week for older adults.
Knowing the dangerous physiological effects of a sedentary lifestyle, it is important to make even the smallest changes in daily routine and not make such lifestyle mistakes. An easy way to determine if a person is getting enough activity during the day is to count the number of steps taken during the day. This can be easily done with the help of pedometers or health apps on smartphones. 10,000 steps a day is said to be the optimal level of activity for a normal adult. Stop making such lifestyle mistakes & get moving, now!
This write-up was contributed by Credihealth content team:
Credihealth is a medical assistance company that gives guidance to a patient from the first consultation through the entire hospitalization process. A team of in-house Credihealth doctors helps the patient find the right doctor, book appointment, request cost estimate for procedures and manage admission & discharge processes.
Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
“Do You Have Sitting Disease?” WebMD.com, Lisa Fields, https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/do-you-have-sitting-disease
“Physical (in)activity-dependent structural plasticity in bulbospinal catecholaminergic neurons of rat rostral ventrolateral medulla,” J Comp Neurol. 2014 Feb 15;522(3):499-513. doi: 10.1002/cne.23464, Mischel NA, Llewellyn-Smith IJ, Mueller PJ, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24114875
“Sedentary Lifestyle is Dangerous to Your Health,” nchpad.org, National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD), https://www.nchpad.org/403/2216/Sedentary~Lifestyle~is~Dangerous~to~Your~Health
“Sitting is the new smoking,” smh.com.au, The Sydney Morning Herald, Sarah Berry, May 30, 2013, https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life/sitting-is-the-new-smoking-20130529-2nca0.html
“Television Viewing Time and Mortality,” Circulation. 2010; 121: 384-391, D.W. Dunstan, PhD; E.L.M. Barr, PhD; G.N. Healy, PhD; J. Salmon, PhD; J.E. Shaw, MD; B. Balkau, PhD; D.J. Magliano, PhD; A.J. Cameron, PhD; P.Z. Zimmet, PhD; N. Owen, PhD, https://circ.ahajournals.org/content/121/3/384.short
“Too Much Sitting: The Population-Health Science of Sedentary Behavior,” Exerc Sport Sci Rev. Jul 2010; 38(3): 105–113, Neville Owen, Geneviève N Healy, Charles E. Matthews, David W. Dunstan, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3404815/