Why should we sit less
Everyone knows we need to be more active, but there is more and more evidence that we also need to sit less, although this seems to be an obvious fact.
- More movement
- Drivers and astronauts
- How to get rid of
To reduce the risk of deterioration of your health as a result of inactivity, it is recommended to exercise regularly for at least 150 minutes a week, for example, you can do more walking activity and reduce your sitting position in parallel, of course.
Studies have linked sedentary lifestyle with overweight and obesity, type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer and early mortality syndrome. It is believed that prolonged sitting slows down metabolism and worsens metabolism, which affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and the ability to break down fat deposits. Many adults spend more than seven hours a day sitting or lying down, and this time of low activity usually increases with age to 10 or more hours a day.
This lifestyle includes watching TV, using a computer, reading, doing household chores, traveling by car, bus or train, but does not include sleeping.
Move more, sit less
However, there is currently insufficient evidence to establish the exact amount of time people can sit during the day. Some countries, such as Australia, the USA and Finland, recommend that children limit the time spent at the TV screen or computer to 1-2 hours a day.
Recent studies have shown that exercising for at least 60 minutes a day can compensate for the negative effects of excessive sitting during the day.
London bus drivers and astronauts
The link between poor health and a sedentary lifestyle was first discovered in the 1950s, when researchers found that London bus drivers were twice as likely to have heart attacks as their fellow conductors.
Over the past few years, there has been an explosion of research into diseases caused by a sedentary lifestyle. It is believed that excessive sitting slows down metabolism, which affects our ability to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, as well as absorb fat, which can lead to weakening of muscles and bones.
In fact, the body shuts down when sitting, and muscle activity is negligible, says Professor Biddle. Studies of astronauts in the early 70s showed that life in zero gravity is associated with accelerated loss of bone mass, muscle and aging in general.
«It is believed that sitting for a long period of time simulates, although to a lesser extent, the effect of weightlessness on astronauts,» says Professor Biddle.
Most of the evidence is based on observational studies that only show a link between sitting and poor health, but are not a direct cause.
«Given the available data, we don’t have a definitive answer to what exactly happens to the body,» says Professor David Dunstan of the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia. «Now we are expanding our knowledge based on research in the laboratory.»
Research by NASA astronauts shows that upon returning from space, even light walking was effective in overcoming the negative effects of weightlessness.
«Interrupting sitting accumulates your muscles and bones and stimulates all our body functions like the operation of a car engine,» says Professor Dunstan.
For children under the age of five, it is recommended to limit the time they spend watching TV, traveling by car, bus or train, or fixating on some static position.
«There is evidence that a sedentary lifestyle in the early years is associated with overweight and obesity, as well as lower cognitive development,» says the report «Start Active, Stay Active».
While the problem described may be a problem for busy parents, the advice reflects a growing awareness that experiences and habits at an early age affect our health in adulthood.
«There is a need to create healthy behaviors in the early years to protect yourself from possible harmful health consequences in the future,» the report says.
For children aged 5 to 18, reducing the time of a sedentary lifestyle includes everything related to moving around the house, in the classroom or in the yard.
How to get rid of a sedentary lifestyle
For the elderly
It is known that some elderly people (aged 65 years and older) spend 10 or more hours every day sitting or lying down, which makes them a group of the population that is at maximum risk.
«This may be partly due to reduced functionality or poor health, but there are also social norms, the rules of which state that in the years following retirement you need to rest more and move less,» says Professor Biddle. Which, of course, is absolutely not healthy.
«You need to give up a sedentary lifestyle,» says Professor Biddle. «Long periods of watching television should be avoided and it is necessary to try to perform such actions that include light activity and allow you to be on your feet as much as possible.»
«Do some tasks standing up, for example, drink coffee or even write a letter, Ernest Hemingway wrote his novels standing up.» Website about men’s health ahealthyman