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Can Sitting Actually Kill You?

Recently I was perusing my Facebook feed and stumbled across an article from the New York Times (I “liked” them on Facebook) about a standing desk. Thinking it was an interesting concept that I hope does not become a trend in college classrooms, I clicked the link. After reading something along the lines of, “Long term sitting can kill you,” I decided to research the topic. Here are some interesting articles and what they said.

Recent studies may warn that time spent sitting correlates with heart disease and early death, but too much time on your feet may cause a different set of health problems. Basically, sitting too much can cause problems in the future, and you need a balance of sitting, standing, and lying down. Problems can include obesity, kidney disease, and poor mental health.

So the picture above basically sums up everything that might go wrong. This definitely doesn’t mean never sit again, but whether you’re in class all day, watching Netflix in your room, or sitting on an airplane for eight hours, make sure you break up times when you’re sitting with times when you’re actually moving.

Here are some things to do to prevent sitting related illnesses!

  1. Exercise daily! Thirty minutes, you know the drill, so actually do it! Just remember that exercising thirty minutes a day and sitting for the rest of it isn’t enough.
  2. When you’re watching TV, walk around during commercials. If you’re watching Netflix, make yourself walk around between each show. Every thirty minutes/hour, move a little. Stand up and do 10 squats, jog in place, do a handstand, just get out of that sitting position for a few minutes. Plus, it’ll help clear your mind!
  3. Do homework standing up! Or leaning. Sometimes I’ll do something standing up or leaning on my bed. It’s not ideal, but it does shift pressure off your bum and it’s a different posture.
  4. When you’re cooking or heating something up, don’t stick it in the microwave and go sit down. You’ve probably been sitting for a while and probably will sit down when you’re eating, so take that ten minutes to stand. You do not need to go back to bed if you’re waiting for two-minute macaroni and cheese. Remember in 1-4 years you’ll most likely be sitting at work for 10+ hours and that will definitely take a toll on your health.
  5. If you must sit, make sure to have the correct posture: shoulders back, back straight, feet flat.

Remember to move and you’ll have nothing to worry about. Basically, this whole article is to get you to do what your parents and doctors have been telling you to do for years; get off the couch and move!

 

Article Sources:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/23/magazine/who-made-that-standing-desk.html?smid=fb-nytimes&WT.z_sma=MG_WMT_20140324&bicmp=AD&bicmlukp=WT.mc_id&bicmst=1388552400000&bicmet=1420088400000&_r=4

http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/page/national/the-health-hazards-of-sitting/750/

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-02/many-reasons-chair-killing-you

http://time.com/8773/now-theres-another-reason-sitting-will-kill-you/

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