Introduction: What is Sitting Disease?

Introduction: What is Sitting Disease?
How many hours a day are you sitting down? Think about it. You’re sitting at your kitchen table, or on the couch, drinking your morning coffee. You are in the car on your way to work and while you run errands. You sit at work, most likely. You sit during lunch and dinner. You sit on your commute home and you sit when you get home.
Most of us spend more than 70 percent of our day sitting down. And some estimates are that most people spend more than 90 percent of their day either sitting down or sleeping.
Here’s the problem…
Your body was designed to move. Your muscles, bones, joints and even your cells all respond to movement. When you’re not moving, everything slows down. This slowdown can cause serious problems over time.
We’re talking about life and death problems. It’s such a big problem that doctors and researchers have given it a name. It’s called “sitting disease.” Let’s first give a formal definition of sitting disease and then we’ll talk about symptoms, risks, and some potentially frightening statistics.
A Formal Definition of Sitting Disease
Sitting disease is the name given to the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle. Specifically, these consequences lead to metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes, cancer and more. Sitting disease is characterized by sitting or remaining inactive for most of the day with little or no exercise.

The Risks of Sitting Disease
A sedentary lifestyle causes damage down at the cellular level. For example, when you don’t move your lovely muscles they atrophy; they shrink and become weaker. This not only makes it difficult to move, it also puts you at risk of injury.
Additionally, when you’re inactive, you actually weaken your immune system. Hormones and chemicals are released in your body when you move and when you exercise. This keeps your body strong and healthy. Stop moving and the hormones and other chemicals are no longer released, and one of the consequences is a weakened immune system.
Your cells and tissues also begin to become inflamed when you’re inactive. This systemic inflammation is the foundation of all deadly diseases. When your circulatory system becomes inflamed, for example, you arteries shrink. You experience high blood pressure. Plaque collects on the interior of your arteries and you may experience heart attack, stroke, and death.
Your body also stops responding to signals to take up sugar into the cells because, quite frankly, your cells don’t really need that much energy. So your blood sugar becomes imbalanced and you become insulin resistant. This, as you might know, leads to diabetes.

Other risks of a sedentary lifestyle include (and some of these may surprise you):
⦁ Anxiety
⦁ Deep vein thrombosis
⦁ Depression
⦁ Breast Cancer
⦁ Colon cancer
⦁ Kidney stones
⦁ Low back pain
No one wants to deal with any of these conditions. And the good news is that with a little attention and determination, you can avoid or reverse sitting disease.
Before we dive into that subject, let’s talk about the symptoms of sitting disease. You may already have it. Don’t worry, you can reverse it.

Symptoms of Sitting Disease
The first step is to calculate how many hours you spend sitting each day. If you have a sedentary lifestyle, then you probably have sitting disease.
And this includes all of the people who exercise for the requisite 20 to 30 minutes a day.
That’s just not enough to defeat disease if you spend the rest of your day sitting. (Don’t worry; the bulk of this report is dedicated to helping you live a more active lifestyle without requiring you to exercise for hours every day)
Additionally, if you have any of the conditions we’ve talked about, including high blood pressure, anxiety, or low back pain, then you likely have sitting disease. Let’s face it, you know if you live a sedentary lifestyle. It’s time to make a change.
Some Potentially Frightening Statistics about Sitting Disease
Australian researchers reported that each hour spent watching TV is linked to an 18% increase in the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease – perhaps because that time is spent sitting down. (Source: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20100111/too-much-tv-may-have-deadly-toll)
Sitting shortens your life. Studies have shown you can add two years to your life when you reduce your sitting to less than three hours a day and you can add another 1.4 years if you reduce TV time to less than two hours a day. (Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-blog/sitting-disease/bgp-20056238)
Diabetes risk increases exponentially. The less you move, the less blood sugar your body uses. Studies have shown that for every two hours spent sitting per day, your chance of contracting diabetes goes up by 7 percent.
Depression and anxiety risks increase. As your circulation slows down it only makes sense that it takes more time for hormones to reach their intended target. Fewer feel-good hormones reach your brain. This can have immediate effects.
Weight gain and obesity. When you sit, you burn about 2.6 calories a minute. When you stand, you burn 3.3 calories a minute. (Source: http://www.juststand.org/tabid/929/language/en-US/default.aspx) Think about this for a minute. That may not seem like much but you’re burning 0.7 more calories a minute when you stand. In an hour that’s 42 calories. In four hours that’s 168 calories. Multiply that by seven days and that’s 1176; almost half a pound. And that’s just the difference between sitting and standing. If you actually move your body, then you burn even more.
No Fat Burning. When you sit for an extended period of time, your body starts to shut down at the metabolic level, your circulation slows and you burn fewer calories. Worse, enzymes that are responsible for breaking down triglycerides begin turning off. A full day of sitting lowers your fat burners by 50 percent.
Earlier we mentioned that exercising each day isn’t enough. Let’s take a look at why that isn’t enough next and then we’ll talk about how to combat sitting disease.

Why Your Daily Workout Isn’t Enough to Overcome the Impact of Sitting
“Our bodies have evolved over millions of years to do one thing: move. As human beings, we evolved to stand upright. For thousands of generations, our environment demanded nearly constant physical activity.”
- James Levine, M.D., Ph.D., author of Move a Little, Lose a Lot.
Study after study has shown that regardless of how much moderate to vigorous exercise you do, if you don’t take frequent breaks from sitting, you’re going to suffer the consequences.
One study found that participants who took more breaks from sitting throughout the day had slimmer waists, lower BMIs (body mass indexes), and healthier blood fat and blood sugar levels than those who sat the most – even those who exercised regularly.
Put succinctly…
The more you sit each day, the more likely you are to die an early death – no matter how fit you are.
To figure out how much you sit, think about your answers to the following questions:
⦁ How many hours do you sit at work?
⦁ How many hours do you sit in traffic/commuting?
⦁ How many hours do you sit in front of the television?
⦁ What about meals? How long do you sit at meals?
⦁ Think about your other activities during the day, how many hours do you spend sitting?
Finally, how many hours do you exercise each day? How many hours do you spend moving your body? You might be walking, cleaning, running errands or standing; what’s the total?
Compare the sitting to standing and/or moving and you’ll be able to quickly see how much of a difference there is between the two. It may be the reason you’re exercising and not losing the weight you want. It might be why you don’t feel well, why you lack energy, and why you’re getting sick.
There’s good news.


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