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Sitting too Long?

Updated: Mar 22

girl in casual office wear, sitting on woven floor cushion with computer
Image by: Mary Eineman (Unsplash)

You might have seen my recent social post. I’ve been working long hours in front of the computer and my body is not happy about it. I had given up sitting and was hanging over the back of my chair. A sure sign it was time for a break!

Chronic sitting has been dubbed the new smoking, with a sedentary lifestyle and lots of sitting linked to both physical and mental health problems. Covid lockdowns and increased probability of working from home have contributed to the increase in sitting, and decrease of movement.

According to the Mayo Clinic, research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns, including obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and unhealthy cholesterol levels that make up metabolic syndrome.

“Too much sitting overall and prolonged periods of sitting also seem to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Researchers analysed 13 studies of sitting time and activity levels. They found that those who sat for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of dying similar to that posed by obesity and smoking,” the Mayo Clinic states.

It’s all a bit miserable. Lucky there is chair yoga for when you can’t quite walk away.

Higher sedentary time is associated with a higher death rate among less active individuals, according to a recent massive study of 44,000 middle-aged and older adults. About 30–40 min of moderate to vigorous exercise per day, is what is needed to offset 10-hours of sitting, according to the study.

My first thought was I’m not sure I have time for that. Then I stopped and did the math: 30 mins exercise to offset 600 minutes of sitting is a ratio of 5%. I probably do (have time).