Sitting Is Killing You

Men's Health |

Don’t just sit there, do something about it!

Too Much Sitting Linked To Fat Deposits Around The Heart

The more time spent sitting, the more fat was deposited around the heart, according to this study of 504 adults, whose average age was 65. Researchers did CT scans to see if more sitting was associated specific patterns of fat distribution. They found that people who sat more had more fat around their hearts. This pericardial fat is strongly related to cardiovascular disease, according to lead author Britta Larsen from the University of California in San Francisco. Prolonged sitting was associated with more pericardial fat even among people who got regular exercise. This suggests that getting more exercise may not be enough to reduce the effects of prolonged sitting. Sitting and exercise are two distinct behaviors, says Larsen. You need to focus on both-“get enough exercise but also not sit 10 hours a day like most of us do,” she says. Larsen suggests that simple innovations such as standing desks or getting up for a stroll every hour or two could help mitigate the effects of prolonged sitting. The study findings were presented at the 2012 scientific sessions of the American Heart Association.

Program To Reduce Sitting On The Job Linked To Less Sitting, Less Pain, And Better Mood

Prolonged sitting at work has been linked to several negative outcomes, including increased risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and premature mortality. Conversely, taking breaks from sitting is associated with a better metabolic profile in adults. This study evaluated what affect the use of a sit-stand device fitted at each workstation would have on sitting time, back and neck pain, and mood. The device allows workers to stand or sit while working and to change from a sitting to standing position without interrupting workflow. Twenty-four people took part in the intervention and 10 people served as controls during the seven-week study. During the entire study, the sitting, standing, and walking behaviors of all the participants were monitored. Baseline information on health, pain, behaviors, and mood was collected during the first week. For the next four weeks, 24 people used the sit-stand device. Then the devices were removed. At the end of the intervention period and again two weeks after the devices were removed researchers again measured mood, pain levels, and work-related behaviors. Among people who used the device, sitting time decreased by 66 minutes per day during the intervention, upper back and neck pain was reduced, and significant improvements in fatigue, vigor, tension, confusion, and depression were seen. After the sit-stand device was removed, sitting time, pain levels, and mood returned to what they were at the start of the study. When the people who used the device were asked about the benefits of being able to alternate sitting and standing, 87% said they felt more comfortable, 87% felt energized, 75% felt healthier, 71% felt more focused, 66% felt more productive, 62% felt happier, and 33% felt less stressed.

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