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EDITORIAL: Sitting can be harmful to your health

On the Move

Inactivity researchers are discovering that sitting isn't just harmful to your health, it’s so detrimental that a little bit of exercise doesn't offset its negative effects.

As The Washington Post put it: “The message is clear: Sitting for hours at a time might be a health risk regardless of what you do with the rest of your day.” (“Desk jobs can be killers, literally” — July 17, 2013).

The Post cited Alpa Patel’s 2010 study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology (Leisure Time Spent Sitting in Relation to Total Mortality in a Prospective Cohort of U.S. Adults), which found a common link between physical inactivity and cardiovascular disease mortality even after adjusting for smoking, body mass index and other factors.

“Up until very recently, if you exercised for 60 minutes or more a day, you were considered physically active, case closed,” Travis Saunders, a Ph.D. student and certified exercise physiologist told Runner’s World (“Sitting is the new smoking-even for runners” — July 20, 2013). “Now a consistent body of emerging research suggests it is entirely possible to meet current physical activity guidelines while still being incredibly sedentary, and that sitting increases your risk of death and disease, even if you are getting plenty of physical activity.”

The bottom line is we need to get out of our seats more. We need to change positions more during our work day. Stand to work on your computer, get up every hour and stretch/move and make time for 10 to 15 minute walks three times per day. This sounds like a difficult thing to do, but it can actually make you more productive. Put a sticker or post-it on your computer to remind yourself to stand and stretch every hour. Don’t beat yourself up, but start with small changes to improve your mobility. The human body is not meant to be sedentary.

From: “Move Forward” on APTA.org

“On the Move” is a periodic column giving healthy lifestyle tips and information on activities happening in the Skaneateles-area. Kraetz Physical Therapy is located at 796 Genesee St., Skaneateles. For more tips follow them at facebook.com/kraetzphysicaltherapy.

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