You already know that smoking and obesity are important risk factors for chronic disease. Something else we almost all do everyday is a newly emerging risk factor for chronic disease. This activity is slowly gaining recognition as a threat to your long term health. It causes tight hip flexors and contributes to low back pain when done too long. It contributes to headaches too. It’s something you do watching TV and working at the computer. Have you figured out what it is yet? It’s sitting. Yes, believe it or not sitting has now joined smoking and obesity as an important risk factor for chronic disease.
What does the related research say?
After doing some research, here are three related studies:
1. Restricting the amount of time spent seated every day to less than 3 hours might boost the life expectancy of US adults by an extra 2 years, indicates an analysis of published research in the online journal – British Medical Journal.
2. Researchers from the University of Leicester Departments of Health Sciences and Cardiovascular Sciences revealed that women who are sedentary for most of the day were at a greater risk from exhibiting the early metabolic defects that act as a precursor to developing type 2 diabetes than people who tend to sit less.
3. Women who exercise regularly spend as much time sitting as women who don’t, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study. Emerging research shows that prolonged sitting has significant health consequences — and the new Northwestern study suggests that being a dedicated exerciser doesn’t prevent women from spending too much of their day sitting. This research is the latest indication that public health recommendations should be established to encourage Americans to limit the amount of time they spend sitting every day, said Lynette L. Craft, first author of the study and an adjunct assistant professor in preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
How can you minimize the effects?
Well, you’re probably standing up now (smile) as common sense would suggest, but there is much more to it than that. In simple terms, stand up more often and tighten your glutes to offset tension in the hips. This is a great step to get started.
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