I Wouldn’t Sit For That

Most of us spend the overwhelming majority of our waking hours seated. We sit down to have breakfast. Then we sit in our cars or on the train or bus on the way to work. When we arrive at work, we sit at our desks until lunch and then sit a little more to enjoy lunch. After work, we once again sit in our cars or on the train or bus. As soon as we get home we rush in to “take the load off” and collapse into our sofas, from where we surreptitiously pretend to read the paper…until dinner is ready! We then sit down to savour our meal, after which we promptly return to our sofas to digest…whilst watching a little TV…sound familiar?

Unfortunately for us, sitting is a major risk factor in the development of low back pain and it has even been associated with disc herniation. I na├»vely assumed that was the worst of it until I stumbled upon a thought-provoking article…

Can sitting too much kill you? Wow, talk about getting your attention! Research has shown that spending excessive periods of time sitting can lead to obesity, heart disease and cancer. This can happen even if we take part in regular exercise. As Dr Marc Hamilton says, “sitting too much is not the same as exercising too little”. One of the culprits may be an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase. It allows muscles to uptake fat thereby decreasing the levels of fat circulating in the blood stream…and preventing arteries from becoming clogged up. Sitting markedly decreases the secretion of lipoprotein lipase. A large study conducted by Dr Peter Katzmarzyk found those who sit more are at higher risk of death than those who sit less.

Shocking isn’t it? I bet you won’t complain the next time you don’t get a seat on the train or underground! Before you sell your sofa and chairs or hand in your notice in search of that coveted job as a parking attendant or postman…things may not be as bleak as they seem…check out my next post for some life saving tips!