On average U.S. adults sit 15.5 hours per day. Our sedentary lifestyle can negatively affect our health. Studies have shown that sitting too much can shorten our life. Prolonged sitting can result in an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. An added bonus is that standing burns more calories than sitting. You burn on average 3.3 kcals per minute standing versus 2.6 kcals per minute seated.
Shorter Life Span
The American Cancer Society, conducted a study of 123,216 people’s health outcomes during a 14-year period. The American Cancer Society study finds that women who sit for more than six hours a day were about 40% more likely to die during the course of the study than those who sat fewer than three hours per day. Men were about 20% more likely to die.1
Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Emma Wilmot of the University of Leicester in the UK, and colleagues, pooled the results of 18 studies covering a total of 794,577 participants, and found people who sit for long periods have twice the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and premature death compared to people who do not.2
Prolonged Sitting Linked to Certain Cancers
In an article in Scientific American, Christine Friedenreich, an epidemiologist at Alberta Health Services-Cancer Care in Canada, stated physical inactivity is linked to as many as 49,000 cases of breast cancer and 43,000 cases of colon cancer a year in the United States.3
5 Easy Ways to Sit Less
- Walk More! Park your car further from your destination, use stairs vs the elevator, take the long route when walking.
- Set a timer to remind you to stand-up every half hour.
- While watching TV stand during the commercials.
- Stand when talking on the phone.
- Walk your dog more often. No dog? Plan a walk around the block after dinner.
Simple changes in your lifestyle can lead to a healthier life.