Is Sitting is the New Smoking?

Is Sitting is the New Smoking?

For years, people have been hearing about the dangers of smoking. Excessive tobacco use has been proven to cause a number of serious and sometimes fatal health issues. Yet cigarette use continued to be a serious issue until new laws governed the sales of tobacco, research highlighted its negative effects and countless marketing campaigns helped educate the public on the dangers of smoking.

While smoking is still a very serious health concern in our world today, there is a new dangerous habit that is rivaling even the effects of cigarette use—and it is something that millions of people do each and every day. This new danger is sitting and it has more serious health consequences than most people know. As more people than ever find themselves living a sedentary lifestyle, behind a desk or crunched over a computer, researchers are finding that all of this sitting is actually leading to a bevy of health issues and may even be shortening our overall life expectancy.

Researchers like Dr. James Levine from the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative are now speaking out regarding the adverse effects of sitting. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, the researcher stated simply “Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.”

So, how exactly is sitting harming us so much that it rivals cancer-causing cigarette smoke? Well, studies have found the following health issues linked to sitting too much.

  • Sitting limits your ability to burn calories.
  • It increases your chances of obesity and the health effects that come with obesity.
  • Sedentary individuals have as much as a 49% greater risk of early death.
  • Sitting habits are associated with a higher risk of depression.
  • It increases the chances of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
  • Frequent sitters are more prone to muscular issues

What is even more terrifying about the research surrounding sitting is that studies have found that these negative side effects of long-term sitting are not reversible through exercise or other positive habits. This means that even though you may try to balance 8-hours at a desk with an hour of exercise and a healthy diet, your excessive sitting is still going to wreak havoc on your body. Unfortunately, sitting has become a standard in our world today.

Standing desks, treadmill desks, and new movement-friendly work environments are all making major strides towards combating all of the sitting that Americans today tend to do. However, the best way to protect yourself from the health effects of sitting is to start simple and get up and move. Whether it’s taking a movement break during the day, avoiding sitting when you get home from the office or just trying to stand while you watch TV, eat dinner or check your emails. Little steps like this can go a long way in helping you avoid over-sitting each and every day.

If you have any concerns regarding your sitting habits, call Continuum Internal Medicine at 817-617-8650 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sharaf or schedule an appointment online at continuumtx.com.